The huge question: can it actually work?

Buried Promises

Despite pledges from countries to do better, some analysts think the world will keep burning fossil fuel for decades and even consume more of it in coming years — which isn't so cool for our warming planet.

In response, billions of dollars are getting earmarked for carbon removal technologies, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The investment firm Blackrock has poured $550 million into a Texas carbon capture facility that's currently under construction, according to the WSJ. Occidental Petroleum is building the plant, which will have massive fans that will suck carbon out of the air and trap it underground.

Earlier this year, JP Morgan announced it's buying more than $200 million of carbon removal credits from startup companies devoted to the tech. It also assisted Switzerland-based carbon removal company Climeworks in securing $650 million in investment dollars.

In a massive jump, companies have bought around $1.6 billion in carbon removal credits this past year so far, compared to just $333 million last year at the same point in time, according to the WSJ. Microsoft is number one in the leaderboard for carbon removal credits purchased, at 3,153,344 tons.


While all this construction and investment sounds great, the jury is still out on the actual effectiveness of carbon removal facilities.

Recent research has suggested that carbon capture could have a smaller impact on emissions than what some advocates have estimated. Crunching the numbers, the study revealed that carbon capture reduced a plant's emissions by a measly 10 to 11 percent instead of the 80 to 90 percent some had hoped for.

"If you’re doing too little on the emissions mitigation side, then there is no point of carbon dioxide removal," Norway-based Center for International Climate Research research director Glen Peters told The New York Times.

Other experts say resources spent on carbon removal is a waste of money and effort, and that these investment dollars should be spent on renewable sources instead because they are cheaper and hence more economically viable. Carbon removal is expensive and an unproven technology, some critics have argued.

Carbon capture also means it's just business as usual for fossil fuel companies, whose so-called carbon mitigation efforts are being incentivized by various world governments.

And business as usual ain't gonna cut it in the fight to combat climate change.

More on climate change: Scientists Warn That the Dubai Climate Conference Is Full of Crap

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