Bank of Montreal has pre-purchased the permanent removal of 1000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology.
The purchase was facilitated via London-based outfit BeZero Carbon, with the carbon removal to be delivered by a large-scale facility using Canadian company Carbon Engineering's DAC technology.
A new technique, carbon dioxide removal through DAC physically removes CO2 from the air and permanently stores it in deep geological formations, essentially reversing the emissions process.
Proponents says that by decoupling the capture from the source of the emission, the process can be used to counteract any carbon dioxide emission, from anywhere in the world and from any point in time.
BMO is the first bank to pre-purchase CO2 removal using the technology as it looks to hit its commitments as a member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance.
Michael Torrance, chief sustainability officer, BMO, says: "We're pleased to be working with BeZero and Carbon Engineering on high-integrity, large scale climate solutions such as Direct Air Capture, and to be the first bank to do so.
"By doing so we're supporting the growth of a new market for Direct Air Capture and associated offsets, which will be critical for achieving ambitious Paris aligned 1.5C goals and going past net zero to being net negative GHG emissions."
Tommy Ricketts, CEO, BeZero Carbon, adds: "This purchase by BMO is a landmark moment for the future of Direct Air Capture, and a strong signal to the market that this technology should become a critical part of net zero infrastructure."