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“If you build it, they will come.” This famous, but paraphrased, quote from the film “Field of Dreams” is apropos of the fledgling carbon removal industry.

Executive Summary

Climate scientists agree that efforts to cut carbon emissions alone won't get the world to net-zero targets in the middle of this century. The world will also need carbon removal, they say. Here, CM International Editor Lisa Howard gives a primer on some methods of carbon removal and describes early actions by Swiss Re and Zurich to prefund projects in a fledgling industry.

The demand is there, but supply needs to be built. The carbon removal industry needs to scale up quickly to provide a vital tool to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Insurers and reinsurers can play an essential role as institutional investors, as buyers of carbon removal certificates in their own pursuit of net zero and, of course, provide the traditional risk transfer protections. (See related article.)

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