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Equinor Ventures invests in Counteract

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Equinor Ventures (EV) has acquired a minority shareholding in Counteract, a London-based carbon removal venture capital fund, solely committed to investing in carbon removal technologies.

Counteract, which already has 15 companies in its portfolio, invests globally into opportunities that can demonstrate the potential to remove 500m tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2050. The fund will invest in anything from nature-based solutions like forestry and regenerative agriculture to heavily engineered solutions like direct air capture, and those in between like biomass.

In 2022, carbon removal funding hit $13.8bn globally and gained more political and scientific recognition when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the need for carbon removal solutions. The world is currently removing around 2bn tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year in the large part through forests — and scientists estimate that we’ll need roughly 1,300x more carbon removal than that by 2050.

Innovative business models such as carbon capture as a service, supply chain opportunities like carbon neutral concrete, and carbon market enablers like nature-based solutions verification are all part of EV’s portfolio.

Despite Equinor developing a strong knowledge and competence set around carbon removal technologies, more needs to be done to keep with the pace of innovation and the urgency to address the carbon removal challenge.

The investment serves as an enabler for Equinor to indirectly invest and investigate new technologies. The Counteract team will also actively help build business options for Equinor through workshops, brainstorming, and startup introductions. Technology based carbon removal and management/utilization of the removed CO2 is a prioritized value chain for possible future business.

“Our investment in Counteract follows a tradition in Equinor Ventures, of investing in sector-specific investment funds. Through Counteract we will gain an early look into the relevant startups that Equinor Ventures could directly invest in the future. Access, insights, financial return, and business building collaboration are additional reasons for Equinor Ventures’ desire to collaborate with a partner in this space,” says Lars Klevjer, vice president and head of Equinor Ventures.