Leading tech companies Stripe, Alphabet, Shopify and Meta and global management consulting firm McKinsey announced the launch of Frontier, a new advanced market commitment initiative aimed at accelerating the development of carbon removal solutions and technologies. The partners have committed $925 million to kick off the initiative.
According to the landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate change mitigation study released this month, scenarios that limit warming to 1.5°C include carbon dioxide removal methods scaling to billions of tons of removal annually over the coming decades. The report also noted, however, that while there are multiple existing solutions to capture and store CO2, most are early stage and currently limited in scale.
With the new Frontier initiative, the companies aim to enable and support the development of solutions to remove carbon at scale by giving confidence to researchers, entrepreneurs and investors in the end market demand for their products. Using an advanced market commitment (AMC) concept initially piloted to accelerate the development of pneumococcal vaccines, Frontier’s partners’ commitment to buy $925 million of permanent carbon removal by 2030 is designed to support help scale new and emerging technologies with a clear signal of end market demand. Each buyer will determine their annual maximum spend, with Frontier aggregating that demand and facilitating the purchases.
In addition to setting a demand pool for carbon removal, Frontier will also vet suppliers. The initiative will focus on permanent carbon removal solutions with the potential to achieve high volume and low cost. Specific criteria highlighted by Frontier include solutions that store carbon for over 1,000 years, take advantage of carbon sinks less constrained by arable land, can achieve a cost of less than $100 per tonne at scale, and can ultimately achieve over 0.5 gigatons of removal annually.
Frontier is owned by Stripe, and each of the founding companies will serve on the initiative’s advisory board.
In a social media post announcing the launch, Nan Ransohoff, Head of Climate at Stripe, and Frontier Founder Advisory Board member, said:
“Today, I’m excited to launch Frontier—an advance market commitment (AMC) that will buy $925M+ of permanent carbon removal by 2030. Build and we will buy.”