As the recent IPCC climate health check report begins to sink in and transitions into action globally, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) last week released the CO2 Utilisation Roadmap, designed to outline how Carbon Capture can provide a solution to Australia’s climate woes.
The report outlines how Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) technologies can provide the opportunities that Australia desperately needs to reduce its emissions to meet global reduction commitments, and more importantly halt global warming.
Whilst the roadmap correctly outlines how CO2, captured from industrial processes or from the atmosphere, can be transformed into synthetic fuels, food and beverages and even building materials, it problematically promotes a limited “technology not taxes” approach to climate risk management.
At Vellum, we firmly believe that definitive climate positive action can only be achieved when carbon mitigation and carbon capture are both implemented in conjunction with one another. We believe this is the solution to not only addressing current challenges but sustainably revolutionising tomorrow’s practices, to go beyond climate survival and make positive impact.
Our approach is to support new technologies and tomorrow’s sustainable solutions through our ESG Fund and advisory practice, whilst simultaneously balancing this transformation with active sequestration and carbon capture practices to make a difference today.
One of the more novel opportunities for carbon capture is kelp farming in Australia.
In Asia, seaweed farming is already a multi-billion-dollar industry which is seeing rapid global expansion, due to its function as an extremely nutritious and fast-growing food source, and also because of its ability to combat climate change. According to the BBC, seaweeds are thought to sequester nearly 200 million tonnes of CO2 every year.
Kelp is one of the most advantageous types of seaweed on account of its rapid growth (up to 2 feet a day) and the fact that it does not require maintenance or fertiliser. Seaweed absorbs CO2 through photosynthesis for growth and upon death, majority of the carbon it has absorbed is locked in its tissue which is transported to deep oceans.
Beyond its carbon capturing potential, the World Bank estimates that if the sector were to grow by just 14% year on year by 2050, seaweed could increase global food supply by 10%.
We at Vellum are always looking for investment opportunities like this, innovative solutions that tackle short and long-term problems, and also align with our strict ESG criteria. In this case, kelp provides an opportunity in both carbon capture and reduction, and though novel, ultimately stands as an example of the type of innovative project that will be needed to address Australia’s climate problem.