Zurich-based insurance and reinsurance company Swiss Re announced a new partnership with carbon dioxide removal technology company Climeworks for the direct air capture and storage of carbon. The deal will help advance Swiss Re’s goal to reach net zero emissions in its operations by 2030.

As part of the new partnership, Swiss Re and Climeworks signed a $10 million, 10-year purchase agreement for direct air capture and storage of carbon dioxide, and the companies have also agreed to collaborate on developing risk management knowledge and risk transfer solutions, and to explore future investment and project finance opportunities.

esg playbook

Christoph Gebald, co-CEO and co-founder of Climeworks, said:

“We are very proud to have established the basis for a unique long-term partnership with the leading risk knowledge company Swiss Re. This is a decisive milestone for the scale-up of Climeworks and the direct air capture industry.”

Climeworks’ carbon removal solution in Iceland filters CO2 from ambient air using geothermal energy, dissolves it in water which is pumped deep underground. The captured CO2 reacts naturally with the surrounding basalt rock, turning to stone in the form of carbonate minerals.

While this method is considered to be the safest and most durable form of all carbon removal solutions available, but also one of the costliest. According to Swiss Re, customer commitments to long-term purchase agreements can help facilitate more economical air-capture and storage facilities.

Christian Mumenthaler, Swiss Re’s Group Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, said:

“To mitigate the risks of climate change, the world needs to scale-up carbon removal on top of, not instead of emission reductions. By partnering with Climeworks we can play to our strengths in this endeavour, as a risk taker, investor, and forward-looking buyer of climate solutions.”