Having amassed more than 30 years of experience investing in public and private markets, Mark Lyttleton is a business mentor and angel investor with a keen focus on early-stage businesses that aim to impart a positive planetary impact. This article will look at carbon removal technologies like Skoot and their potentially game-changing impact in the fight against climate change.
Throughout 2022, global carbon emissions continued to rise, pushing up global temperatures and triggering a range of extreme weather events all over the world – from unprecedented rainfall and subsequent flooding to droughts and wildfires.
Carbon sequestration is a solution to climate change that has become increasingly popular with both governments and the corporate world. Carbon sequestration centres around removing carbon already pumped into the atmosphere through day-to-day human activities such as electricity production, which accounts for approximately a quarter of all carbon emissions.
Skoot is a company that was launched with the goal of enabling as many people as possible to start taking action against climate change, helping them to identify their carbon footprint, enabling them to avoid carbon emissions and providing climate offset solutions.
Carbon removal can be achieved via two broad methods: artificial and natural. Both are implemented with the common goal of keeping the global temperature increase below 1.5°C compared with pre-industrial temperatures.
Artificial or technological carbon removal methods include carbon mineralisation and direct air capture. Carbon mineralisation is the process through which CO2 is converted into a solid mineral, such as carbonate. Left to nature, the process takes thousands of years to complete. However, scientists speculate that if the process could be speeded up, this would pave the way for development of game-changing carbon removal technology.
Meanwhile, direct air capture is a process that chemically draws CO2 out of the atmosphere, injecting it deep into underground geological formations. Alternatively, captured carbon can be combined with water before being pumped underground, where it eventually turns into rock.
Natural methods of carbon removal include ocean sinks and tree planting. The ocean is one of the biggest carbon sinks in existence today, with microscopic marine bacteria and algae playing a crucial role in the Earth’s carbon cycle, absorbing as much carbon as all of the trees and plants on the planet combined. Forests are also incredibly effective at sequestering carbon, removing up to 7.6 billion metric tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year. With this type of carbon sink, sequestration is achieved via photosynthesis, a natural process through which trees absorb CO2, storing it in their trunks, roots and leaves.
There are many incentives for people and businesses to implement meaningful measures to reduce their carbon footprint. Offsetting is an extremely effective way of achieving this, providing businesses with sustainable choices to balance their carbon footprint by effectively pulling carbon out of the atmosphere. Verified and regulated, carbon offset schemes encourage long-term behavioural changes. In addition, carbon offsetting also creates valuable skills that can be used for years, retaught and passed down through the generations, ensuring that carbon offsetting continues in the future.