UBS signs 10-year agreement with Climeworks, underlining the financial services industry’s central role in scaling carbon removal; long-term commitments are key to scale the carbon removal industry because they provide planning security, says Climeworks

Sample article from our Housing & Economy

August 30, 2022 (press release) –

Key take-aways:

  • Climeworks is excited to enter a long-term collaboration with UBS, the latest and largest financial services company to commit to Climeworks’ carbon removal solution.
  • The agreement with UBS points to an increasing consensus in the financial services industry that supporting permanent carbon removal is an essential part of the industry’s net zero transition.
  • For Climeworks’ continued capacity scale-up, the guaranteed demand materialized by an increasing number of long-term agreements is key to catalyze financing of infrastructure and accelerate growth.

In addition to drastic emissions reductions, carbon removal solutions need to be deployed at scale to reach global net-zero emissions by 2050, and afterwards net-negative emissions. In its most recent report, the IPCC estimates that by mid-century, 3-12 billion tons of CO₂ will need to be removed from the air every year in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

UBS has signed a 10-year agreement with Climeworks and is also partnering with neustark to remove CO₂, thus counting on two innovative Swiss companies to help address its unavoidable carbon emissions.

Long-term commitments such as the one from UBS are key to scale the carbon removal industry because they provide planning security to both sides. As a demonstrable step on its scale-up roadmap to gigaton capacity, Climeworks recently announced the ground-breaking of its next direct air capture and storage facility, called Mammoth. Mammoth capitalizes on the dynamic, long-term market demand for high-quality, permanent CO₂ removal which continued to grow over the past months. 

Following earlier purchases from Stripe, Klarna, Square Inc., LGT and Verdane, UBS is the latest and largest financial services company to commit to Climeworks’ carbon removal solution. Through capital allocation, stakeholder involvement and client engagement, financial services companies can act as a catalyst for emissions reductions and removals. UBS is a founding member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ).

Suni Harford, UBS Group Executive Board lead for Sustainability and Impact and President Asset Management, says: "Innovative technologies play an increasingly important role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. By collaborating with neustark and Climeworks, UBS wants both to further reduce our own carbon footprint and, crucially, to support the development of scalable solutions that the world needs to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050."

“Switzerland has a long tradition of promoting innovation and we are delighted to be supporting these pioneering solutions from two Swiss companies, Sustainability continues to be at the top of our clients' agendas and, in order to be a credible partner, it is important that we demonstrate our continued commitment when it comes to the sustainability of our own business activities.", says Sabine Keller-Busse, President UBS Switzerland.

Christoph Gebald, co-CEO and co-founder of Climeworks:
“We are delighted to enter this long-term agreement with UBS. In the past months, the number of multi-year carbon removal agreements has increased rapidly. Such long-term commitments are central to our growth planning and enable us to increase the speed of our scale-up.”

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Dan Rivard
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