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The largest contributor to global warming is the carbon dioxide from fossil fuels. In 2019, human activities were responsible for 43.1 billion tons of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation.

Problem Statement: New technologies emerge to replace ancient, fossil fuel-burning industries. Cars, trucks, buses are transitioning to electricity, reducing CO2 emissions. However, reducing pollution or going carbon neutral is not enough to reverse the damage. The world is in need of carbon negative production processes to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide already existing in the atmosphere.

Scope of Innovation: The diamond industry is a surprisingly interesting factor in the reduction of carbon emissions. The current diamond mining process has a negative environmental impact. It affects water supply and water quality, while also polluting the air and soil. However, diamonds are made by carbon atoms under high temperature and pressure, thus innovative ways to make lab-grown diamonds already exist, but they still source carbon from fossil fuels. By collecting the carbon dioxide that is already in the air to make diamonds, we can actually reverse past CO2 emissions. To make this happen, we require technology that is able to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, together with a carbon neutral production process.

Solution of the Week: Aether Diamonds is an US-based startup founded in 2018 which makes jewelry with carbon negative diamonds. Their proprietary technology for capturing carbon dioxide, and their sustainable production process is enabling them to make diamonds while reducing air pollution. Their diamonds are physically and chemically identical to mined diamonds, certified by the International Gemological Institute, and the quality is among the top 2% of all diamonds on the planet. All of their products are carbon negative, created from sustainable materials via sustainable production processes. Thus, while Aether Diamonds creates jewelery, they reduce the amount of carbon dioxide existing in the atmosphere. For example, a pair of their earrings captures the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to what an average American would produce in 6.7 years. Aether Diamonds produce rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets all with a carbon-negative impact. Even if the diamond industry is not among the biggest contributors to pollution, it provides an opportunity to tackle one of the world’s largest challenges, while creating gifts for the loved ones.