A consortium of US tech companies, including Alphabet and Metahe announced Frontier, a new initiative in the development of technologies to remove CO2 from the air. The consortium will initially allocate 925 million dollars, which will be spent on buying and financing companies that develop “new and promising solutions” in this sense from now until the end of the decade. For Meta, in particular, it is part of the project to achieve zero emissions by 2030.
More specifically, Frontier leverages the principle known as early market commitment, which is relatively young in the financial world and born in the field of vaccine development. Basically it is a legally binding contract in which the buyer agrees to buy somethingwhich still does not exist, once it is ready and fully developed. In the case of Frontier, this something are the tons of carbon dioxide in the air. Frontier aims to reward ideas and innovations that deliver tangible results over the long term and that are easily scalable.
Frontier’s reasoning is that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not enough to combat climate change: CO2 already in the air and oceans must also be removed, and a lot must be removed – according to estimates the ideal target is to reach between 5 and 10 billion tons per year by 2050. Currently, methods such as reforestation and sequestration of CO2, but they are not enough to reach those volumes.
According to climate experts contacted by Frontier, if by 2050 the goal of having a net global balance of CO2 emissions is reached, it could be possible to contain the temperature increase to 1.5 ° C, a threshold considered critical to avoid the most disastrous effects of climate change. According to current projections, however, we are on a trajectory for an increase of 3 ° C.