And here is the puzzle of carbon removal today. It’s astonishing that any Fortune 100 company is making an investment in carbon capture. Even five years ago, it was seen as a largely notional technology. Now its costs have started to decline, and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that it is scientifically essential.
Experts know that carbon capture must do what wind and solar have done: It must get cheap. And the point of United’s investment, Kirby said, is to help make it cheaper, so it can be a choice for any airline. “This is, to me, the way to drive the costs down so that, you know, much like what happened with wind and solar, it becomes competitive as a way to take carbon out of the atmosphere,” he said. “At that point … you can have projects that have no other economic benefits other than taking carbon out of the atmosphere.”
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