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Swiss Re Ltd. has entered a 10-year carbon removal purchase agreement valued at $10 million with Zurich-based Climeworks AG, a specialist in carbon dioxide air capture technology.
The agreement will give Swiss Re early access to carbon removal risk pools and asset classes, the Zurich-based reinsurer said in a statement Wednesday.
The companies have also agreed to collaborate on developing risk management knowledge and risk transfer programs and to explore future investment and project finance opportunities.
“To mitigate the risks of climate change, the world needs to scale-up carbon removal on top of, not instead of, emission reductions,” said Christian Mumenthaler, Swiss Re’s group CEO and co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Alliance of CEO climate leaders.
Swiss Re has a goal of reaching net-zero emissions in its own operations by 2030 and in its insurance and investment business by 2050.
The carbon removal technology offered by Climeworks in Iceland filters carbon dioxide from ambient air using geothermal energy, and captured CO2 is then sent for permanent storage in nearby rock layers, according to the statement.
It is dissolved in water and pumped underground where it reacts naturally with the surrounding basalt rock to form stable carbonate minerals. It is considered one of the safest forms of carbon removal commercially available, Swiss Re said in the statement.
Major brokers Aon PLC and Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. more than halved their carbon emissions from business travel in 2020 as they shifted to digital ways of working during the pandemic.