Reinsurance giant Swiss Re announced Wednesday that it had signed the world’s first long-term agreement to take carbon directly out of the air. The contract with Climeworks AG, one of the world’s leading direct air-capture startups, will net the climate technology company $10 million over 10 years.
Mischa Repmann, a senior environmental management specialist with Swiss Re, said the deal would not only help his company reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, it could inspire other business considering the use of carbon capture technology. “It’s a call for action, and we’re hoping that others will follow,” he said.
The news comes just weeks after the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest climate science report, which found the future of a livable planet relies on our removing anywhere from 100 billion to a trillion tons of carbon already in our atmosphere by the end of century, depending on how much more we keep putting into it.
Swiss Re’s own bottom line has been hit hard by increases in extreme weather attributed to climate change. Earlier this month, the company said insured losses it covered in the first half of this year were the second highest on record.