Why 2023 Was A Breakout Year In Carbon Removals

Dec 27, 2023

In 2023, the carbon removal industry witnessed a significant growth spurt, propelled by major company acquisitions, government funding initiatives, exciting startup fundraises, and high-profile announcements.

As the planet recorded its hottest year yet, the necessity of carbon removal technologies, which extract and sequester carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere, became undeniable. These once fringe concepts in climate policy have become crucial in many industrial and national net-zero strategies. From direct air capture to enhanced weathering, 2023 was the year these ideas transitioned from academic ideas confined in the lab to practical, scalable solutions, with a McKinsey report projecting the market’s value at up to $1.2 trillion by 2050.

The number of carbon removal credits sold leaped 650%.

According to CDR.fyi, a non-profit aggregator of carbon removal credit purchases, 2023 saw a 6.5x increase of credit sales from 800 thousand tonnes at the end of 2022, to more than 5.2 million tonnes at the end of 2023. The year ended with over $2.1 billion in carbon credit purchases.

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