Tomorrow’s Air, a new climate protection group founded by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, is taking a different path, both technologically and socially. It advocates the removal and storage of carbon, as done by the Swiss company Climeworks – an expensive process that involves filtering carbon dioxide from the air and sometimes injecting it underground into basalt rock, where it mineralizes over time.
While the process seems reasonable, the question is whether it is scalable. said Howard Herzog, a senior research engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has studied carbon capture for more than 30 years and noted the high cost of running the technology relative to the amount of carbon removed. “It’s much cheaper not to emit than to try to capture it later.”
While the emerging technology is indeed costly – a Peruvian tour operator estimated that cutting a flight between London and Lima with carbon capture technology would cost $ 5,040 – Tomorrow’s Air aims to get people excited about the future of carbon removal, in they invest and create a community of travelers and travel companies in the area that will eventually be large enough to attract businesses and governments to engagement.
“We are providing opportunities for travelers and travel companies to help scale up carbon removal technology,” said Christina Beckmann, co-founder of Tomorrow’s Air. “We thought what if we got travel that was 10 percent or some of global GDP make of it and focus on carbon removal with permanent storage? We could really do something. “
Tomorrow’s Air is pursuing this goal by planning online Airbnb Experiences tours of a carbon capture facility. And it has teamed up with artists who are focused on the climate and showcase their work on its website. It also sells subscriptions starting at $ 30, 80 percent of which is invested in a carbon removal company. 20 percent fund further educational efforts.
The group is holding their first meeting today (virtual, of course) bringing together what they call “climate friendly travelers and brands” to not only talk about carbon capture but also where to go and how to be a more sustainable traveler – a step in harnessing consumer demand for climate change action.
“It’s convenient, affordable, and a way to become part of what will hopefully be a growing travel collective where, as we get bigger, we may be able to scale some things,” said Ann Becker, 68, a Chicago business and travel consultant and member of the US-based Tomorrow’s Air.