Carbon Removal Must Quadruple To Achieve Climate Goals: Researchers Warn

by | Jun 6, 2024 | Environmental News, Pollution News

Home » Environmental News » Carbon Removal Must Quadruple To Achieve Climate Goals: Researchers Warn

As per a recent report, researchers feel that carbon removal must quadruple to achieve climate goals. They want this to happen in order to meet global climate targets. The report emphasizes the urgent need to quadruple the current amount of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) each year.

The Urgent Need to Quadruple Carbon Dioxide Removal

Carbon dioxide removal refers to methods that capture CO2 already in the air. This includes traditional techniques like reforestation and innovative solutions. These include biofuels, algae cultivation, and direct air capture technologies.

Carbon Removal Must Quadruple to Achieve Climate Goals

These interventions are crucial in sequestering CO2 and mitigating the impacts of climate change. Currently, about 2 billion metric tons of CO2 are removed from the atmosphere annually through CDR.

However, there’s a need to keep global temperature rise below the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius. For that, this number needs to increase to around 7-9 billion tons per year. This target comes from a comprehensive research report by more than 50 international experts.

Gregory Nemet is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and co-author of the State of Carbon Dioxide Removal report. He highlighted the importance of immediate action.

Global net greenhouse gas emissions were about 55 billion tonnes per year in 2022,” he said. “Emissions accumulate in the atmosphere, so every year, every action counts.

Challenges and Solutions in Scaling Up Carbon Removal Technologies

The authors of the report stress the need for new policies to drive demand for CDR. They note a decline in funding for new technologies since 2020. Last year, investments in new startups amounted to $856 million, which is just 1% of the total climate tech spending.

Nemet pointed out the gap in government-induced markets and demand for CDR. “We see quite a few policies supporting the technology directly,” he said. “But what we’re really missing so far are government-induced markets and demand for carbon dioxide removal.

The report also calls for shared protocols on measuring, reporting, and verifying the CO2 sequestered by CDR projects. That’s especially for those relying on carbon market funding.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has also underscored the role of CDR in meeting climate goals. However, it warns of the risks associated with large-scale deployment of new and untried methods. These risks include potential negative impacts on biodiversity, food security, and water resources.

Nemet acknowledges these challenges, stating, “Nothing comes for free, and CDR is no panacea. Regardless of how much carbon dioxide removal we do, we’ll still need to reduce emissions from fossil fuels and halt deforestation rapidly.

In conclusion, carbon removal is a vital tool in the fight against climate change. However, it must be complemented by substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers now feel that carbon removal must quadruple to achieve climate goals. The combined efforts of innovative technologies, supportive policies, and global cooperation are essential to achieving these critical climate goals.

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Author

  • Sarah Tancredi

    Sarah Tancredi is an experienced journalist and news reporter specializing in environmental and climate crisis issues. With a deep passion for the planet and a commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental challenges, Sarah has dedicated her career to informing the public and promoting sustainable solutions. She strives to inspire individuals, communities, and policymakers to take action to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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