Last year, Stripe announced our Negative Emissions Commitment, pledging at least $1M per year to pay, at any price, for the direct removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and its sequestration in secure long-term storage. We’ve since built a small team within Stripe to focus on creating a market for carbon removal by being an early customer for promising negative emissions technologies.

Today, after a rigorous search and review by a panel of independent scientific experts[1], we’re excited to announce our first purchases. Our request for projects garnered a wide range of negative emissions technologies which came in two broad categories.

  • Carbon storage in the biosphere: These projects include planting trees or modifying agricultural practices to store more carbon in soil. These projects are relatively less expensive and benefit from immediate scale (we can plant trees today), but have shorter long-term permanence since trees can be easily burned down and carbon storage in soil can be short lived. These solutions alone are unlikely to sustain the necessary 6-15 gigatons of annual CO2 removal.

  • Carbon storage outside of the biosphere: Projects in this more nascent category store carbon in places besides plants and soil. Examples include directly capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and injecting it into stable rock formations underground or sequestering CO2 in concrete via mineralization. These solutions are scarce and dramatically underfunded. If they can proliferate and scale, they’ll complement in-biosphere solutions by bringing new benefits: thousand-year or longer permanence and vast carbon storage using minimal arable land.

The world will need a portfolio of negative emissions approaches across these two categories to meet the 2 degree warming target sensibly adopted by many governments. We believe Stripe can make the most impact by focusing our purchases on the latter category to help these solutions improve