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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A nonprofit pushing technology that captures carbon-dioxide emissions from the sky is rebranding and redoubling its focus as the zany-sounding tech gains steam.

Why it matters: The evolution of the group, Center for Carbon Removal, reflects growing interest in the technology among foundations and other groups. Experts say it’s increasingly essential for limiting Earth’s temperature rise and avoiding the worst impacts of a warmer world. That’s because there is already so much buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we’ve reached a point that some needs to be taken out.

The details:

  • The group, launched in 2015, is rebranding as Carbon180. The name is designed to emphasize not just talking about the technology, but actually working to support its commercialization too. That ranges from capturing carbon directly from the sky to using forests, which soak up CO2.
  • The group’s rebranding comes alongside a new report laying out how it hopes to do that, like upping R&D, and creating training programs to support what's known as the new carbon economy.

The big picture: Carbon180’s renewed focus follows similar action elsewhere in the energy and climate space, including:

  • A think tank led by Ernest Moniz, President Obama’s energy secretary, announced earlier this week it was developing a plan for this same type of technology, per E&E.
  • The University of Michigan launched a multi-million dollar Global CO2 Initiative last month aimed at putting the captured CO2 to use.

One level deeper: Technology capturing CO2 from air is technically feasible but prohibitively expensive in most cases. The captured carbon can in chemical theory be used for almost anything, ranging from carbon fiber building material to shoes and beer. It can also be stored underground. Here’s two companies around the world deploying it:

  • Last year Switzerland-based Climeworks opened its first commercial-scale plant that captures CO2 from the air.
  • Canada-based Carbon Engineering, whose investors include Bill Gates, is planning to build its first commercial plant by early next year.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Updated 4 hours ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February
  2. Vaccines: Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker