Climeworks & Swiss Re in CO2 capture to hit net zero

By Helen Adams
Climeworks & Swiss Re sign the world’s first and largest 10-year purchase agreement for direct air capture and storage of carbon dioxide in a net zero push

The summer of 2021 has shown a vast variety of extreme weather events, from floods to wildfires. 

Around the world, people have been given a vision of the future consequences of climate change. While many are working to reduce their fossil fuel output, Swiss engineering company, Climeworks, has developed the technology to directly capture CO2 from the air. 

Climeworks is headquartered in Zurich and is powered solely by renewable energy.

Swiss Re, a reinsurance and insurance provider, committed in 2019 to reach net zero operational emissions by 2030.

In a unique, long-term partnership Swiss Re and Climeworks are launching a cutting-edge collaboration, by signing the worlds’ first ten-year carbon removal purchase agreement, worth US$10mn.



Climeworks offers an essential solution to climate change

The partnership with Swiss Re is of integral importance to Climeworks, as the re/insurance industry is at the forefront of assessing complex risk structures including those of climate change. 

Re/insurers are capable of structuring those risks and allocating them in an efficient way. 

Swiss Re’s unique long-term commitment sends once again a strong signal emphasising that a pure climate solution like Climeworks’ technology is important to reach the Paris Agreement climate targets. 


Net zero can be achieved through direct carbon capture

This commitment is by its nature providing a structure for interested buyers to enter into similar purchase agreements with Climeworks. Swiss Re is sending a key demand signal to carbon removal solution providers and investors. Pioneering customers like Swiss Re and their long-term commitment prove that a market for measurable and permanent carbon dioxide removals already exists today and will grow significantly in the future.  

Bringing climate solutions to scale not only requires the right demand signals, but also de-risking and financing.  

This is why the partnership between Swiss Re and Climeworks goes beyond the pioneering 10-year carbon removal purchase agreement with further joint activities being assessed together. 

“We are very proud to have established the basis for a unique long-term partnership with the leading risk knowledge company Swiss Re. This is a decisive milestone for the scale-up of Climeworks and the direct air capture industry”, said Christoph Gebald, co-CEO and co-founder of Climeworks. 

“To mitigate the risks of climate change, the world needs to scale-up carbon removal on top of, not instead of emission reductions”, said Christian Mumenthaler, Swiss Re's Group CEO and Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum's Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders. “By partnering with Climeworks we can play to our strengths in this endeavour, as a risk taker, investor, and forward-looking buyer of climate solutions.” 


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