Amazon makes first investment in DAC technology


Amazon announced that it will help fund the world’s largest deployment of direct air capture technology by purchasing 250,000 tons of carbon removal over the next decade from STRATOS, the first DAC plant from 1PointFive, a carbon removal technology firm.

The carbon that is removed through the air capture systems will then be stored underground in saline aquifers.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 250,000 tons of carbon dioxide is equivalent to the emissions in one year from 55,633 gasoline-powered cars.

Through its Climate Pledge Fund, Amazon is also investing in CarbonCapture Inc., a climate tech firm that is helping to accelerate commercial deployment of new DAC materials to absorb CO2.

Amazon’s Vice President of Worldwide Sustainability, Kara Hurst, said in a release,“With these two new investments in direct air capture, we aim to target emissions we can’t otherwise eliminate at their source.”

She continued,“We’re also helping launch technologies we know the world will need to avoid the worst effects of global climate change, supporting those technologies’ growth so they’ll also be available to other companies and organizations.”

The retail giant is attempting to decarbonize its global operations through wind and solar renewable energy projects, delivery fleet electrification and reduction in the weight packing per shipment.

Amazon’s announcement comes on the heels of Microsoft’s announcement that it has agreed to buy carbon credits from California-based startup Heirloom Carbon, which uses limestone to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

The credits will remove 315,000 metric tons of CO2 over the next decade. That would amount to at least $200 million based on market prices. The carbon offsets are equivalent of the annual emissions of roughly 70,000 gas-powered cars.

Scientists say that it’s necessary to remove about 1 trillion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere in this century to keep global warming below the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit set by the Paris Agreement, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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