Air Canada stated that it has invested $6.75 million in the climate technology solutions company Carbon Engineering (CE) to support the development of its technology that can directly capture carbon from the air on an industrial scale.
CE, established in Canada, is intent on adopting its Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology. DAC technology, identified by the IEA as a crucial carbon removal alternative in the transition to a net-zero energy system, harvests CO2 directly from the atmosphere for use as a raw material or permanent removal when paired with storage. According to the landmark IPCC climate change mitigation report published earlier this year, scenarios that limit warming to 1.5°C include carbon dioxide removal methods scaling to billions of tonnes of removal annually over the coming decades, with DAC potentially accounting for a significant portion of the total.
By combining ambient CO2 with clean hydrogen utilizing CE's AIR TO FUELS technology, the captured CO2 can be used to make ultra-low carbon transportation fuels, such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The investment follows Air Canada's announcement of a partnership with CE to advance aviation decarbonization solutions, examining potential including DAC, SAF, and carbon removal technology, last year.
Last year, Air Canada announced a series of sustainability goals, including a pledge to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) throughout its global operations by 2050, as well as interim targets to achieve 20% GHG net reductions from flights and 30% GHG net reductions from ground operations by 2030, and a commitment to invest $50 million in SAF and carbon reductions and removals.
Air Canada's President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Rousseau, stated:
"Last year, we were the first Canadian airline to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CE to look into the scalability of carbon capture and other activities in the industry. We are happy to invest in CE to speed up the commercialization of new, game-changing ways to get rid of the carbon.