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27/10/2021 22:36:49  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal: Stripe is signing up to pay for carbon-removal technologies that haven't been invented yet. The payments company has formed a partnership with Deep Science Ventures, a London investment firm that specializes in building technology companies from the ground up. DSV will recruit scientists to develop ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If they come up with viable concepts, Stripe will be their first customer. It will pay DSV startups $500,000 each up front to capture and store carbon, then a further $1 million if they meet performance milestones. The new partnership marks an expansion of Stripe's effort to provide a market for unproven technology that could potentially help limit the damage of global warming. The United Nations' scientific panel on climate change says the least-bad global-temperature scenarios depend on people removing billions of tons of planet-warming gases from the atmosphere. It also cautions that companies and governments may never be able to deploy the technology on the scale required to make that happen. Since August 2019, when it promised "to pay, at any available price, for the direct removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and its sequestration in secure, long-term storage," Stripe has committed $9 million to 10 carbon-removal projects. Stripe's carbon-removal procurement is led by Ryan Orbuch, who was a product manager before focusing on climate, and the team's projects are vetted by a panel of industry experts. Costs vary, with the most expensive service costing more than $2,000 per ton of carbon removed. Scalability is more important than current pricing. Stripe says technologies should have the potential to remove half a gigaton of carbon dioxide a year by 2050 at a cost of $100 per ton, and store it for at least 1,000 years. Stripe has tethered its core business of operating payment infrastructure to its side project. Stripe Climate, a tool introduced in October 2020, lets Stripe's customers divert a percentage of revenue to the carbon-removal pot. Roughly 9,000 of Stripe's millions of business users have enrolled contributing nearly $3 million a year collectively, and roughly 8% of new Stripe users sign up [...].

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