Iceland Is Sucking Carbon Dioxide From the Air and Turning It Into Rock

OSLO, Feb 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — On a barren hillside in southwest Iceland, workers are installing huge fans to suck carbon dioxide from the air and turn it to stone deep below ground, in a radical — but expensive — way to fight global warming.

Engineering fixes for climate change are gaining attention and investments in 2021 as companies such as Microsoft and leaders from China, the United States, and the European Union work on long-term plans to achieve “net zero” emissions goals.

Elon Musk, chief of Tesla Inc and a billionaire entrepreneur, said in January he would give a $100 million prize for the best “technology for capturing carbon”.

Swiss firm Climeworks, which is building the Icelandic site with Carbfix, a unit of Reykjavik Energy, says every technological fix is needed to limit what US President Joe Biden calls a “climate crisis”.

But critics say “direct air capture” (DAC) of emissions already in the atmosphere is too costly, particularly compared to simply reducing emissions, or protecting existing forests and planting new trees.

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