Christoph Gebald, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Climeworks, is scaling fast to remove a gigatonne of carbon from the atmosphere by 2050. Read more in our ClimateTech 2023 report.
A leader in direct air capture, Christoph Gebald’s Climeworks fights climate change by removing CO2 from the air and storing it safely and permanently underground.
Climeworks raised $650m in equity funding in April 2022 and already runs the world’s largest direct air capture and storage plant. Now, Christoph and his team are set to launch a plant nine times bigger in Iceland in 2024 and expand into the US.
He’s backed by significant tailwinds. The voluntary carbon market could provide demand for over two gigatonnes of carbon credits by 2030, 13x more than in 2021, meaning more firms looking to offset their emissions with carbon removal projects.
“We see an ever-increasing demand for high-quality, permanent carbon removal,” says Christoph. “The biggest challenge is to scale the industry as fast as possible to the magnitudes required by climate science.”
Scaling Carbon Removal
To do so, Christoph says the sector needs more funding (through grants, public funding programs, and equity and project finance), supportive policies and regulations, and a supply chain able to deliver on a massive scale.
Climeworks established the first direct air capture and storage methodology and delivered the first independently verified CO2 removal service to its customers earlier this year.
Standards that create shared principles for defining and verifying carbon removal credits are crucial, Christoph says, in helping to create a level-playing field and establishing trust in the voluntary and compliance carbon markets.
Climeworks: Going Global
While the EU works to define carbon removal standards, the US has taken a leadership position with policies that help advance carbon removal solutions and the development of four regional direct air capture hubs (DAC hubs).
Christoph’s goal is simple: scale fast to remove a gigatonne of carbon from the atmosphere by 2050 – and that means working on a global scale.
In April, Climeworks confirmed its US expansion and applied to participate in three of the DAC hubs.
Christoph’s message for budding climate tech founders?
“Be ambitious, follow science, always work with high integrity, and build a credible roadmap towards your goals.”
Download our ClimateTech 2023 report for more insights from Europe’s top climate tech founders and discover our climate tech startups to watch!