Direct Air Capture modules from Climeworks are located on the roof of the Hinwil waste incineration plant. The modules filter CO2 from the ambient air. The CO2 thus extracted is used to fertilize a neighboring greenhouse.
Meinrad Schade—laif/Redux

On a grassy plain in Iceland in September, a gigantic machine began sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The project, built by Swiss company Climeworks, is the world’s largest direct-air carbon-­capture plant—though it traps only about 4,000 tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to the yearly emissions of about 850 cars. Some experts say carbon-­removal technology, still in its infancy, distracts from proven solutions. But others, including Climeworks co-director and co-founder Jan Wurzbacher, argue it can help reduce warming.

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