Meet the former Tesla director who wants to pull carbon dioxide out of the air

The sun shines behind large, rectangular equipment filled with fans that are attached to drooping white bags.
Carbon removal technology at a Climeworks facility in Iceland. | Photo by Halldor Kolbeins / AFP via Getty Images

Microsoft, Stripe, Shopify, H&M — hell, even Coldplay — are some of the big-name clients paying Swiss company Climeworks to take carbon dioxide out of the air. Climeworks became the first company to sell the service, using its new-fangled “direct air capture” technology, in 2017.

There’s still protest from some environmental advocates over this strategy for tackling climate change. They’d rather see these brands stop pumping out pollution. Unfortunately, that’s not happening nearly fast enough to keep global temperatures from rising. And demand is rising for ways to clean up all the carbon dioxide pollution building up in our atmosphere.

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