How to Address Climate Change Fast Enough
Trust. We commit to a code of conduct so you can trust that we’ll do the right thing.
The race against climate change isn’t getting any easier, but the world is making some progress, and this gives me hope. The pendulum of public support continues to swing toward action. Youth around the world are driving a tidal wave of support for climate action. Radical learning curves are driving progress even more quickly than we could have hoped – the costs of solar energy are 100 years ahead of our forecast of just 10 years ago.
While we are making advances, the pace of change needs to radically accelerate. It’s clear that to have a chance at “only” a 1.5C increase, we need massive amounts of technology-based, permanent carbon removal. And we need it quickly.
Current estimates are that the carbon removal industry needs to be three times as large as the current oil and gas industry, and it needs to be built in about 25 years.
To some people, that’s a scary thing. “Is carbon removal going to work? Is it a waste of time, money, and energy? Is it really just an excuse to legitimize existing carbon emitters?” In summary – can I trust those people who are working on carbon removal?
I understand those feelings. I wish that we had started 30 years ago to make the changes needed to avoid this crisis. Even though I helped start this company, I personally wish it wasn’t necessary. But wishing isn’t going to change anything.
To maintain a healthy climate for our children and grandchildren, we need to take action. We’re past the point where we can safely sit by and wait for a perfect, no-risk solution to the climate crisis. Without an industry to remove legacy CO2 from the air, we will not be able to pass a healthy Earth to our children and grandchildren.
So our team at Planetary and our collaborators at leading universities around the world are acting now to develop the science and iteratively prove the safety and efficacy of our carbon removal system.
“But how can I be confident that you will do the right thing – that you’re really not in this for yourself?”
It’s hard to believe people you don’t know, and we understand that our ability to scale our solution can move only as quickly as we can earn your trust.
So you know what to expect from us, we commit to a set of principles that we won’t break and actions that you can count on us to complete. This Code of Conduct is posted on our website and we would love your feedback on it.
While no one is perfect, every single person in our company commits to upholding the code at all times. And because transparency is a key component of it, you’ll always be able to track our progress against it.
We will do more than follow just the letter of our code – we will continuously conduct our business to fulfill the spirit of the code as well. Our board of directors, and I as the CEO, will monitor our actions and ensure compliance.
We will publish regular audited assessments of our compliance, and we will provide an ongoing scorecard of our activities at every one of our project sites. There will always be a mechanism for any group or individual to raise issues so we can jointly address concerns. We will continue to work with scientists around the world, and we will clearly document the results of our experiments. And as we learn more, we will improve our operations and our communication around our code.
Our goal is to make a big positive impact on the climate. We aim to protect and restore the climate and the ocean for generations to come. If it turns out that there are situations where that isn’t happening, we’ll stop. Full stop.
We invite you to come along with us. We’d love to have you work with us (let us know if you’re interested in opportunities at Planetary), or at any of the other climate-focused organizations.
We welcome healthy skepticism – it makes for good science and better long term solutions. So hold us accountable to our code. And let’s together continue the race toward a healthy and safer climate.