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How Will Google's Investment in Carbon Removal Credits Impact the Environment?

Google logo with solar panel, earth, sun & wind turbine

Google has announced a bold commitment to invest at least $35 million in carbon removal credits over the next year, joining forces with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in a concerted effort to advance the carbon removal sector.

Randy Spock, Carbon Credits and Removals Lead at Google, emphasised the significance of collaborative public-private support in driving the commercialisation of carbon removal solutions. This initiative reflects the crucial role that governments and corporations play in propelling promising carbon removal technologies to commercial viability.

The move comes against the backdrop of the groundbreaking Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which underscored the urgent need for scaling up carbon dioxide removal methods to limit global warming to 1.5°C. While there are existing solutions for capturing and storing CO2, many are still in early stages and lack scalability.

To address this challenge, the DOE initiated the Carbon Negative Shot in 2021, aimed at fostering innovation in CO2 removal pathways such as Direct Air Capture (DAC), soil carbon sequestration, ocean-based CO2 removal, and reforestation. The goal is to enable carbon capture and storage on a gigaton scale for less than $100 per net metric tonne of CO2e by 2032. The Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchase Pilot Prize, launched in September 2023, furthered this mission by making $35 million available to purchase carbon removal credits from commercial carbon dioxide removal companies.

In a bid to encourage broader participation, the DOE unveiled the Voluntary Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchasing Challenge, urging organisations to make substantial commitments akin to the DOE's own $35 million investment. This initiative aims to facilitate larger carbon removal purchases while connecting carbon removal credit suppliers with potential buyers. A public leaderboard will be established to recognise participating buyers and track voluntary carbon removal purchases.

Google's decision to match the DOE's $35 million commitment marks the inaugural step in the challenge. The DOE expressed enthusiasm for similar announcements from other participants in the future, highlighting the potential of this public-private collaboration to mobilise transformative capital for carbon dioxide removal solutions.

By aligning efforts across sectors, this initiative holds promise in accelerating the development and deployment of scalable and cost-effective carbon removal technologies, crucial for achieving climate goals.


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