May 24, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Exclusive: Direct air capture coalition launches

Illustration of a garbage truck labeled as though it is a carbon dioxide removal vehicle

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A new direct air capture coalition is launching Tuesday that aims to be a convener for the players in this growing field. It includes a slew of private companies, such as Climeworks, as well as nonprofits, universities and philanthropies.

Why it matters: Until now, it has been left to individual players in the nascent air capture space to explain what it is and set goals.

Context: Climate scientists say that scaling carbon dioxide removal technologies, such as direct air capture, is needed for the world to decarbonize hard to abate sectors and reach net-zero emissions. This is a daunting task.

The big picture: The coalition will have a global focus and seeks to include nongovernmental (NGO) and civil society groups that have concerns about equity and sustainability, co-founder and board member Nicholas Eisenberger told Axios in an interview.

  • The coalition has no plans to lobby governments, he said. Eisenberger is president of Global Thermostat, a direct air capture company that is a coalition member.

What's next: The group plans on holding a summit during the next year to produce a roadmap for the direct air capture industry through 2030.

  • “We really think what we bring to the table is that unique front line perspective from these different stakeholders who are working on it,” Eisenberger said.

Of note: The group already has an Africa-based adviser, James Mwangi, who is the executive director of the Dalberg Group.

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