Reducing emissions will not be enough to reverse climate change. Already-emitted CO2 must be removed from the atmosphere. Estimates for carbon removal demands this century range from 180 Gt to more than 5000 Gt and depend on the ability to reduce the carbon footprint and the duration to reach net-zero emissions.
This thesis addresses the issue of excess emissions by proposing an IT-solution to accelerate atmospheric carbon removal through land-based solutions. Not only is the landmass severely affected by climate change, it also has potential to remove up 400 Gigatons of CO2eq within the next thirty years. The goal of the thesis is to validate a business model and approve the technical feasibility of a multisided platform to fund, monitor and verify soil carbon sequestration. Within a sequence of iterations, the initial idea of a platform for investing in sustainable land use turns into platform where organizations can remove emissions from their operations, products and services by renting carbon-capturing land surfaces from farmers.
The findings reveal that sustainability executives and landowners could benefit from one another and accelerate land restoration and carbon removal. On the supply side, carbon certifiers are looking for buyers. On the buyer side, price and scale matter, as well as concrete services for assessing footprints and certifying carbon-free products. The conclusions expose the gaps between vision and reality. It will take substantial personal and financial resources to implement the idea. Corporate pilot projects would be a reasonable next step for proofing the elaborated business concept.
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