Cleaning our skies: innovative solutions that are removing carbon from the air

The world is currently in the greatest race of all time. To order to prevent the worst effects of climate change, we must reach net zero emissions by 2050. This requires drastically cutting emissions from sources like fossil fuels, forest destruction, and food production. But reductions alone are not enough. We must also remove existing pollution from the sky. 

The reality is that certain emissions are impossible to abate by 2050. Take air travel, which must transition to sustainable aviation fuels and new propulsion technologies that are still under development. Even optimistic scenarios forecast that 30% of aviation emissions cannot be eliminated by 2050.

But future emissions are just part of the problem. The CO2 already in the air is also driving up temperatures. Even if we stopped emitting all carbon today, there’s a 42% chance the Earth would surpass 1.5°C of warming within a decade. 

As the clock steadily ticks, climate scientists acknowledge that we cannot rely solely on emissions reductions. According to the IPCC, net zero targets can only be achieved if we also remove CO2 from the atmosphere. This includes deploying nature-based carbon removal approaches like reforestation as well as newer technologies like ocean alkalinity enhancement, soil carbon sequestration, and direct air capture.

This webinar in our Road to Net Zero series explores some of the innovative solutions that are scrubbing CO2 from the air. Our CEO, Paloma Zapata, chats with three experts about their carbon removal approaches. Kelly Erhart talks about the special carbon-removing sand that Project Vesta is using to restore eroding coastlines. Patricia Loria of CarbonCapture Inc. explains how their direct air capture machines filter CO2 out of the atmosphere. Priya Bhullar of Planboo shares how they work with landowners in the tropics to turn agricultural plant waste into biochar that removes carbon while improving soil health.

Watch this webinar to gain a better understanding of carbon removal and discover how tourism can support it.

What you'll learn

This webinar was streamed live on December 7, 2023. Click here to watch the recording.

Watch the webinar recording

Meet the experts


Kelly Erhart

Co-Founder & President, Project Vesta

Kelly Erhart is a social entrepreneur passionate about the opportunities to address global challenges that are found at the intersection of science and business. She is co-founder and President of Vesta, where they are working on an ocean-based climate restoration solution. Kelly has a multidisciplinary background, and her work in the last few years has focused on the commercialization of sustainable technologies and carbon removal approaches. Alongside her commercial efforts, Kelly has also helped to found multiple non-profit efforts across the climate and sustainability space.


Patricia Loria

Vice President of Business Development, CarbonCapture Inc,

Patricia Loria is VP of Business Development at CarbonCapture Inc, a CA based direct air capture company.  She is responsible for sales, partnerships and policy development for the company.  Prior to taking this role, Patricia was Senior Client Engagement Lead at the Global CCS Institute, where she supported companies and governments looking to deploy carbon capture solutions from point sources or ambient air to achieve net-zero goals. Based in  Washington, DC, Patricia is a seasoned marketing and business development professional with more than 20 years of experience in financial services, insurance, and NGO sectors. Patricia received an MBA from Darden Business School and a master’s degree in Natural Resources from Virginia Tech’s Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability.


Priya Bhullar

Co-Founder & COO, Planboo

Priya is co-founder and COO of Planboo, a carbon removal company that connects agriculture landowners with the technology to extract carbon from the atmosphere via pyrolysis (creating biochar), sharing the revenue of certified carbon removal credits with the landowners. She has a MSC. in Environment and Sustainable Development from UCL. Prior to founding Planboo in 2020, she worked for six years in international development working in London, Nepal, Peru, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Zambia for NGOs and development organisations. Priya is passionate about issues related to climate change and socio-environmental justice and brings this lens to her role at Planboo. She is a keen surfer and feels happiest when close to nature. She has recently become a mother to her daughter, Nour Marie.


Paloma Zapata

CEO, Sustainable Travel International
Paloma Zapata leads Sustainable Travel International’s global efforts to maximize tourism’s contribution to environmental conservation and community well-being. With over 15 years of experience in sustainable tourism, Paloma has implemented impactful initiatives in 26 nations across the globe. Paloma manages the organization’s efforts to engage the tourism industry in climate action through a suite of carbon measurement, offsetting, and educational solutions. She is also working alongside destination leaders and communities to define a Carbon Neutral Destination model.

Road to Net Zero

A webinar series catalyzing climate action in travel

It’s readily apparent that the world must take swift, ambitious action to reach net zero emissions. What’s less evident is how to get there. Our Road to Net Zero Webinar series offers stakeholders support on their journey to net zero travel. Each webinar takes a deep dive into a different aspect of climate action, demystifying confusing or controversial topics and highlighting real-life examples of climate action in practice.