All IDCA News

By Loading

7 Aug 2023

Share on social media:

JP Morgan $200M Climate Commitment is Nice -- But It's Just an Ante

JP Morgan has pledged $200 million for direct air capture of CO2 in the atmosphere, with 10% of the commitment coming from a 13-year-old Swiss company named Climeworks. These numbers are thought of as major commitments in the emerging market for CO2 sequestering.

At current costs, $200 million will remove 250,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere – the $800 per ton cost is said to be 8X the times of a long-term, economically feasible process. JP Morgan has also signed other agreements and MOUs to remove another 800,000 tons.

The nations of the world currently emit about 37 billion tons of CO2 per year, tipping an equilibrial balance that has the Earth emit and absorb about 100 billion tons on its own. Cumulative emissions from human-driven activity since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution now exceed 500 billion tons, with another 500 billion estimated as a failsafe point in the human ability to wrangle global warming and its climate-change effects.

Big Nut to Crack
Against this backdrop, JP Morgan's approximately 1 million tons of removal represents 0.003% of the annual total of excess CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere. A hypothetical commitment to address the annual total would thus run in the range of $30 trillion – 30% of the world economy and a number larger than the entire US economy.

Yet doing nothing and waiting for the cavalry to arrive seems to be an unattractive option. The JP Morgan commitment is for direct removal, and can be seen within the context of CO2 reduction by more efficient energy use, a massive commitment to new sustainable energy, and continuous improvement in diverse removal technologies.

IDCA Research Runs the Numbers
IDCA Research has found that the developing nations of the world could all develop sustainable energy grids delivering 40% of the developed world standard – note that most developing nations now have grids delivering 3-10% of this standard – at a total cost of about $2.8 trillion. Of that amount, 24% would be required for India alone and another 9% for China.

As far as the developed world goes, making the US electricity grid fully sustainable (ie, raising it from its present 20% level to 100%) would likely require an investment of more than $1 trillion, and be fraught with political peril, delays, and massive challenges in replacing existing infrastructure.

Add another $1.6 trillion to make the rest of the developed world's grid sustainable, and it's seen that the respective, cumulative investment challenges of developing and developed nations are about equal, with a total required commitment of $5.6 trillion, or about 6% of the annual global economy.

Doing all this over a 20-year period would result an annual commitment of about 0.4% of global GDP (accounting for rising costs). Bringing the world's entire electricity to a sustainable state addresses about 30% of the 37 million tons.

Other trillions will be needed to address the mining, manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation sectors. But the real and obvious challenge is getting everyone singing from the same sheet of music, something that has clearly eluded humanity so far.

Follow us on social media: