Image credit: Carbonfuture

XPRIZE Partners With Carbonfuture On Carbon Dioxide Removal MRV

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Carbonfuture, the leading provider of high-integrity durable carbon removal, has announced a partnership with XPRIZE. Valued at $100M, XPRIZE Carbon Removal aims to fight climate change and rebalance the Earth’s carbon cycle. The partnership marks a milestone collaboration between top organizations verifying (Carbonfuture) and funding (XPRIZE) carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technology. The move signals XPRIZE’s commitment to supporting the integrity of the growing CDR industry through rigorous monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV), supplied by Carbonfuture.

The global XPRIZE competition incentivizes cutting-edge CDR solutions as serious interest grows across financial, tech, and policy sectors. Launched in 2021, the four-year competition currently has more than 1,300 registered teams vying for the top prize to further develop their winning technology. To win, teams must demonstrate the removal and durable sequestration of 1,000 tons of CO2 in twelve months, and sustainably scale to gigaton levels. The competition encourages a diverse range of CDR pathways across air, ocean, land, and rocks.

The prize itself reveals the importance of not only funding and developing CDR technology, but supporting a diversified portfolio of methods. In 2023, there was $1.2B investment in CDR overall, including the lion’s share (nearly half a million US dollars), going towards support services like Carbonfuture. Biomass, like biochar, pulled the second highest investment at $187M, followed by DAC $142, with the remaining 30% of money invested in carbon removal solutions shared between other methods like mineralization and forestation. However, overall, only 3.9% of climate tech and 0.076% of clean energy investment went towards carbon removal, dwarfed by EV and renewables ($129B and $659B respectively). To meet 2050 net-zero targets, a McKinsey report projects between $0.5 – $2T will need to be invested in CDR innovation.

Enter the XPRIZE to kickstart CDR innovation. But it’s not just about a diverse field of technology exploration. For the prize to make meaningful waves for scalable investment and development, competitors must provide reliable data through Management, Reporting and Verification (MRV), which is where Carbonfuture comes in. The partnership in-builds trust and transparency through rigorous MRV. Carbonfuture’s digital MRV system enables the collection of performance and verification data across the 20 finalists, based on standards set by XPRIZE. XPRIZE’s verification partners will access this data through the Carbonfuture MRV+ system to verify project performance.

Map of XPRIZE teams, image credit: XPRIZE

In its own right, Carbonfuture currently has 1.3 million metric tons of carbon removal supply contracts underway. The leader in CDR project monitoring will bring its MRV+ system to the top 20 teams, providing a pathway for these technologies to demonstrate success, and raise funding from investors, even if they don’t win the top spot.

Nikki Batchelor, Executive Director, XPRIZE Carbon Removal: “XPRIZE’s collaboration with Carbonfuture paves the way for innovative new carbon removal solutions to scale to meet urgent climate needs. This partnership exemplifies the rigorous MRV infrastructure needed to build trust and ensure the quality of emerging carbon removal technologies.”

Hannes Junginger-Gestrich, CEO of Carbonfuture, stated, “This partnership is set to transform the CDR industry by accelerating the path to market for emerging CDR solutions. We are excited to collaborate with XPRIZE to bring precision and efficiency in MRV of carbon removal projects through our digital Trust Infrastructure.”

XPRIZE and Carbonfuture are giving CDR innovators a headstart in the race to solve climate change, and global climate investors and policymakers will surely take notice.

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Benjamin Schulz

I'm investing in positive companies and am passionate about climate action and long-term human challenges. Early partner at BEAM (United People of Climate Action) and CleanTechnica (#1 cleantech-focused new & analysis website in the world), among others.

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