When Is Climate Change a Good Thing? it may not make sense at first glance, but there are entrepreneurs out there trying to make lemons out of lemonade. We know that the changing climate may have negative effects on each of our lives. But whenever we might start to feel hopeless, sometimes human ingenuity and passion come along to provide us with inspiring remedies. I’ve come across three of them in just the last month, each trying to do something good with the carbon in our atmosphere that presents so many bad risks for our future.
The changing climate may have negative effects on our lives. But sometimes human ingenuity and passion come along to provide us with inspiring remedies
Opus 12 aims to develop a device to capture carbon emissions from its source, by reacting carbon dioxide from emissions, water and electricity with metal catalysts to create a variety of carbon-based products.
At a new Swiss plant, Climeworks’ CO2 collectors pull air into sponge-like filters that soak up carbon dioxide. It takes two or three hours to fully saturate a filter, which later releases the CO2 in a form that can be sold, made into other products, or buried underground.
And Carbon Trifecta aspires to capture gigatons of greenhouse gases from smokestacks and other major point sources of carbon pollution. And then nonvert those gases into carbon materials useful in large quantities in major industries such as construction concrete, 3D printing of polymers (plastics), and transportation manufacturing.
The hypothesis is that if they are able to create a solution that integrates into current fossil fuel industries and provides value to the market – turning a liability into an asset – and tackles climate change at the same time, they are onto something special.”
If you’re an impact investor or philanthropist, there are lots of new opportunities to invest in not just reducing CO2 emissions, but making something good come of it, like these three and many more projects around the world.
Now there is even a prize for new ideas that challenge the world to reimagine what we can do with CO2 emissions by incentivizing and accelerating the development of technologies that convert CO2 into valuable products.
This may sound a bit like science fiction and surely some of these will not work, but some will. And then climate change will at least be less of a bad thing.
Sir Paul Shoemaker is the Founding President of Social Venture Partners International
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If you are looking for opportunities to learn and connect with others interested in the topic of Climate, take a look at these events, galas, conferences and volunteering opportunities aggregated by Giving Compass.
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