2023 – the year of ‘cooling credits’

By Dirk Singer / January 31, 2023

Our new Sustainable Aviation 2023 Trends report looks at how and why the battle for climate action is expected to grow more heated this year and what visionary executives can do to stay ahead. Download the full report here.

In 2023, we will be hearing a lot more about solar geoengineering. For the first time, there is now a startup wanting to sell ‘cooling credits’ to airlines.

The radical idea is that as the planet heats – and we are now closer to 1.5 degrees – we’ll have to undertake what is called “climate interventions.” This would most likely involve releasing particles in the atmosphere that would then reflect sunlight.

To say that this topic is controversial is almost an understatement.  

Nevertheless, Michael Campos of Energy Impact Partners sees it as evolving from an idea that raises serious concerns to one that’s starting to gain traction.

Indeed, human intervention in the climate is already happening right now. For example, in 2021, Forbes reported that the UAE Emirate of Dubai was using “laser drones to shock rainwater out of the sky.”

One startup has already carried out trials where sulphur particles were released into the atmosphere from a balloon in Mexico. Make Sunsets, which has almost $1 million in seed funding, intends to carry out further flights and is selling so-called “cooling credits,”

Costing $10, each credit will allow for the release of a gram of particles into the atmosphere, which the company says is enough to offset the warming effect of a ton of carbon a year.

We are aware that Make Sunsets is interested in working with airlines and selling them credits. 

Whether carriers find this idea too controversial and early stage or not, we’ll be hearing more about solar geoengineering in 2023. Make Sunsets also won’t be the last startup like this offering these kinds of credits.

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