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UK Entrepreneurs Launch “Counteract” to Combat The Global Climate Crisis Through Carbon Removal

Firm to grow solutions in a marketplace estimated to exceed $10B by 2026

UK entrepreneurs and investors Matt IsaacsAndrew Shebbeare, and Andy Bonsall today announced the launch of Counteract to combat the climate crisis through research, development, and investment in carbon removal technology. Counteract will help engineer and scientist entrepreneurs with the early stage investment, commercialisation, access to community, and communications support required to develop businesses capable of capturing or storing greenhouse gases at gigaton scale.

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The company is the co-founders’ fourth venture together, having last collaborated to launch and grow the global media and technology business Essence, to date the only business ranked #1 in both The Sunday Times Tech Track and International Track league tables. Essence was acquired by WPP in 2015 and today manages over $4bn of global media spend.

Isaacs, Shebbeare, and Bonsall, who have been privately investing for several years, bring extensive expertise in venture building spanning fintech, technology, consulting and media. They are joined by former Octopus Ventures investor Caitlin Wale, bringing sustainability and low carbon solutions experience in built infrastructure and renewable energy.

To mitigate the cruelest impacts of climate change will require increasing carbon capture from 0.04 Gigatons in 2020 to 5.6 gt by 2050 according to the International Energy Agency, a growth rate faster than the oil industry peak. Counteract will support very early stage concepts and ventures across the spectrum of carbon removal solutions such as enhanced weathering, blue and soil carbon, direct air capture, afforestation/reforestation, and new sequestration channels.

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Commenting on the launch, Counteract co-founder Andrew Shebbeare said: “This decade will set the trajectory for humankind’s response to climate change. Time is too short for vital innovations to get stuck in the lab or ideas to languish on paper. We know that solutions proven in theory or at pilot scale now need wide-ranging support and patient capital to break through. We are excited to launch Counteract today to help turn great ideas into scalable solutions that will make a material impact in our lifetimes.”

Shebbeare continued: “With the right effort and response, we can remove enough carbon from the atmosphere to avert enormous suffering. And we believe that for those who are willing to prioritise impact over short term returns, carbon removal also presents an extraordinary commercial opportunity. 2021 is going to be a critical year for climate solutions globally and we are excited to see the UK at the forefront with COP26 in Glasgow in November.”

With increasing investment interest and philanthropic support for climate solutions, and the carbon marketplace estimated to exceed $10B within the next five years, the market for private investments in this space is destined for significant growth. Counteract provides an important new vehicle for accelerating early stage carbon removal solutions at a critical time for the industry.

Counteract will announce a first round of investments and partnerships in the coming months.

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