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Carbon removal

Explore is choosing to support Carbon Removal in place of offsetting our trips’ footprints. Working with Klimate, we’ll be supporting verifiable carbon removal projects to lower the concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere.

 

What is Klimate?

Klimate is a climate tech start-up founded on the realisation that a lot of good money is being wasted on bad offsets. This is wasteful at best, and greenwashing at worst. Klimate has made it their mission to help companies do better when they do good by providing access to high-quality, innovative, and verifiable carbon removal solutions aligned with science. Its core purpose is to scale and accelerate the development of carbon removal methods and technologies needed to achieve the targets set forth by the Paris Agreement.

Klimate’s small team is dedicated to making a dent in the climate challenge. They source, analyse, and finance carbon removal projects from all over the world, combining business and technology to support and scale the best solutions to reduce climate change. Klimate’s portfolios include various carbon removal technologies, from soil sequestration to more complex Direct Air Capture projects.

 

Carbon Removal FAQs

What is carbon removal?

Carbon Removal, sometimes called carbon sequestration, refers to technologies and processes that lower the concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere.   This complex process involves removing and storing the CO₂ molecules for decades or longer in plants, trees, soil, geographical reservoirs, ocean reservoirs or products derived from CO₂.

 

Why choose carbon removal over avoidance based offsetting?

The traditional way of offsetting relies on avoiding future emissions, is now known to be flawed in many ways. Amongst other things, offsetting based on avoidance fails to address existing emissions which can impact the climate for tens to hundreds of years. Using avoidance credits does nothing to address this challenge. Avoidance methods often lack additionality, focussing on selling credits for projects that would likely have happened anyway. Critically, even when avoidance methods work and reduce future emissions, the net emissions remain unchanged which is not in line with the net-zero future we need.

Conversely, carbon removal is rooted in science and fulfils an actual need that the world has in its journey towards a net-zero future. According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) large-scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) methods is now “unavoidable” if the world is to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The report found that in addition to rapid and deep reductions in greenhouse emissions, CO₂ removal is “an essential element of scenarios that limit warming to 1.5℃ or likely below 2℃ by 2100”.

 

How does Klimate select its projects?

Klimate evaluates carbon removal projects according to two different categories, social and environmental benefits. By collecting information and data from the supplier, each question provides a score which is then aggregated to define the co-benefits of the project.

Social benefits 
Carbon removal projects offer great potential to generate social benefits, such as employment, increased economic development and improved welfare. But they can also cause social harms, such as loss of livelihoods or noise pollution. Both aspects must be considered to fully understand the potential impacts of the project.

Environmental benefits 
Carbon removal projects can also generate environmental benefits, such as increased levels of biodiversity, improved soil conditions, or cleaner air. But they can also have the potential to create negative impacts, such as waste, pollution, or biodiversity loss. As with social impacts, both sides must be considered to gain an accurate picture of the impacts.

 

How is the Climate Impact assessed?

1. Additionality

An essential trait for the quality of carbon removal credits — a project is additional if its existence is due to the funding from carbon credits.
For example, Direct Air Capture has high additionality, since its existence would not have come about otherwise if it wasn’t for the incentive created by carbon credits.
 

2. Permanence

Carbon removal projects reduce climate change by removing atmospheric CO₂, storing it in reservoirs, and preventing it from being re-emitted. The more permanent removal is, the longer it keeps carbon locked away in reservoirs.
Forestation projects have short-term permanence (<50 years) whereas biochar has medium to long-term permanence (+100 years).
 

3. Effectiveness

To effectively sequester and store carbon, the energy, land and water consumption of carbon removal projects must be as low as possible.


4. Rapidity

The time period between emissions occurring and carbon removal projects sequestering those emissions (in various reservoirs) affects how much emissions contribute to climate change. Faster reductions mean less warming from CO₂.

What projects will Explore be supporting?

Klimate have put together a portfolio of carbon removal projects that suits our brand and business, and that will evolve with us - as our business, goals and emissions change, so will our removal portfolio.

Our partnership supports five different carbon removal technologies, within which sit carefully-selected projects. As well as choosing projects according to their climate impact, Klimate also assesses their social and environmental benefits, their credibility and accountability, and future potential risk to ensure a balance of projects with different benefits and varied longevity. For example, reforestation is relatively low-cost and has additional environmental and social benefits, but is slow to implement and has a lifespan carbon capture of 50-100 years. While Direct Air capture removes carbon permanently, it is very high cost, is relatively new and has limited additional social benefits. It is a fine balance, and one that will evolve as we do.

How does carbon removal link to efforts to protect and restore biodiversity?

Beyond the carbon removal itself, Klimate evaluates the social and environmental benefits that carbon removal projects generate. Carbon removal projects can generate environmental benefits, such as biodiversity or clean air. But they can also cause environmental harm, such as waste, pollution, or biodiversity loss. Both aspects must be considered and Klimate only works with projects that pass this evaluation. Most of our investment with Klimate goes into forestation projects. This percentage of projects can shift over time, but they are themselves about biodiversity.

How much money is Explore contributing, and how much carbon will be removed?

Explore will make a contribution to Klimate for each travelling customer. How much will depend on a few factors, like the duration of their trip and distance travelled. The funds will be divided between several different projects, applying multiple carbon removal technologies which will allow us to create a wide-ranging impact.  We will regularly review the projects, the impacts and keep our customers updated along the way.

 

Climate & Biodiversity Papers

Sustainability is vital to our strategy as we strive to be the most-loved travel company in the UK, famous for customer experience and sustainable travel.

We're delighted to have published our first ever Climate & Biodiversity Papers for 2023, along with our fellow Hotelplan UK brands.
Read the reports