Canada/United Kingdom – Through Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology, BMO Financial Group has pre-purchased the permanent removal of 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The purchase was facilitated by BeZero Carbon, a London-based climate solutions company, and the carbon removal will be delivered by a large-scale facility utilizing Carbon Engineering’s (CE) DAC technology.
This announcement follows BMO’s membership in the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), a global network of 94 banks from 39 countries. This global sustainability-focused banking initiative reaffirms member banks’ commitment to assisting in the financing of the climate transition and supporting public-private collaboration to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Members who join the alliance agree to take a firm stance on the role of offsets in transition plans. According to the NZBA Commitment Statement, this means that offsets should be limited to carbon removals and used to balance residual emissions when viable options for eliminating the emission are limited.
Carbon dioxide removal via DAC with permanent geologic storage results in the physical removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, essentially reversing the emissions process. By decoupling carbon dioxide capture from the source of the emission, it can be used to offset any carbon dioxide emission, from anywhere in the world and at any time. This provides customers with an effective, verifiable tool for addressing their most difficult sources of emissions, as well as a dependable way to remove emissions from the past.
BMO’s carbon removal units have been pre-purchased, reserving capacity while DAC facilities are being built. The first commercial facility to use CE’s DAC technology is expected to open in 2024. It is being developed in the United States by 1PointFive and is expected to capture up to one million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.