Climate entrepreneurs are coming for Europe’s money

By Federica Di Sario | 05/21/2024 06:21 AM EDT

EU plans to give $43.5 billion to carbon-slashing projects are bringing executives to Brussels, all claiming to have a winning idea.

This photograph taken on April 12, 2024, shows cars driving on a road past the Troyanovo I coal mine, near the village of Troyanovo, eastern Bulgaria.

The EU is preparing to hand out €40 billion ($43.5 billion) to turbocharge carbon-slashing projects as part of its effort to reach climate neutrality by midcentury. Nikolay Doychinov/AFP via Getty Images

BRUSSELS — Stefan Borgas already runs a multibillion-dollar Austrian company that supplies iron and steel factories. But that’s not exactly why he was in Brussels.

Borgas was in the capital of the European Union seeking millions for a pet project that doesn’t yet exist: solid carbon.

The 60-year-old industry titan has become an evangelist for a new technology that, he claims, will trap carbon emissions into solid form, storing away the planet-warming gases before they hit the atmosphere.


The upside could be massive — if the product works, that is. The world is saddled with carbon-belching factories that can’t easily switch to renewable energy alternatives, creating a demand to capture the gas instead. Yet thus far, no product has hit the scale, price point or effectiveness needed to develop a true market.