Carbon dioxide removal (or “CDR” if you want to sound expert) is any technique that takes carbon dioxide molecules out of the air and stores them. Carbon dioxide removal is not linked to a specific source of carbon dioxide emissions; it takes carbon dioxide out of the air around us.
“Point-source carbon capture” aims to remove carbon dioxide directly from emissions sources like smokestacks before they reach the atmosphere.
Think of carbon dioxide removal as tackling the carbon dioxide that is already in our atmosphere. While removing this diluted carbon dioxide from the air is more challenging, it has the potential to compensate for emissions from things like cars and planes, as well as emissions from sectors like heavy industry and agriculture where the technology to shift away from fossil fuels is either non-existent or prohibitively expensive.
Some people feel skeptical of carbon dioxide removal because they are thinking about point source carbon capture, and understand its use as an effort by fossil fuel companies to support 'enhanced oil recovery' - their continued extraction of oil from the ground. Enhanced oil recovery is when pressurized carbon dioxide is injected into existing oil and gas reservoirs to squeeze more hydrocarbons out.
The direct air capture carbon removal with permanent storage provided by Tomorrow’s Air partner Climeworks sucks carbon dioxide that is already in our atmosphere out and is powered by geothermal energy. Travelers can join us @Tomorrowsair.com to clean up carbon dioxide and access a unique suite of travel benefits from sustainable travel businesses.