Carbon dioxide removal (CDR), also known as negative emission technologies (NETs), refers to a range of methods for removing carbo dioxide from the atmosphere and permanently storing it elsewhere. CDR is a key feature of the IPCC reports which highlight the need to sequester 10 to 20 Gt/year of carbon dioxide by 2050 to meet the goal of limiting the atmospheric temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C. This is an enormous task.
There is clearly an urgent need to build a massive new negative-emissions industry to meet this enormous need for CDR to permanently lock away many Gigatonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Despite this need, very few large-scale CDR solutions are being researched, developed, or applied, and none of them are yet at large enough scale to create a noticeable reduction in the overall atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.
Surprisingly, CDR is not currently on the November 2021 COP26 agenda. We think it should be. Read our whitepaper to find out why: CDR and COP 26 – HCS Whitepaper (pdf)
Links to discussions around CO2 removal (CDR) – also termed negative emissions technologies (NETs).
“Large-scale removal of CO2 from the air faces both technical & sociological challenges. 1) lack of knowledge – about technologies needed, or capital to pay for vital infrastructure; 2) fear – of unintended consequences, and the risks another wave of industrial greed, insensitivity, and colonialism widening the wealth gap between the world’s nations; & 3) indecision – whether about the required funding, analysis paralysis, constantly searching for a best answer, even when we know we need to test and explore. And then timing: When do we clean up the atmosphere? Renewable electricity seems straightforward by comparison.” [paraphrased] https://cdrprimer.org/
Frontiers in climate brings together a broad range of academic work and is a great starting point. The site is managed by the Chief Editors Dr. Phil Renforth, Associate Professor, Heriot-Watt University, UK and Dr Jennifer Wilcox, Professor, University of Pennsylvania, USA, and now Principal Deputy Asst Sec. for Fossil Energy at US Dept of Energy. https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/climate/sections/negative-emission-technologies#articles
Climateworks Foundation’s mission “is to end the climate crisis by amplifying the power of philanthropy. Committed to collaborative climate action, we are a team of researchers, facilitators, strategists, and grantmakers” https://www.climateworks.org/programs/carbon-dioxide-removal/
The Economist article explores seven proposed CDR solutions. The article was sponsored by Climateworks Foundation: https://carbonremoval.economist.com/
‘Carbonshot: Federal Policy Options for Carbon Removal in the US’ Jan 2020, A working paper by Mulligan, Rudee, Lebling, Levin, Anderson, Christensen, World Resources Institute. https://files.wri.org/s3fs-public/carbonshot-federal-policy-options-for-carbon-removal-in-the-united-states_1.pdf
Understanding CDR for net zero, opportunities, risks & benefits, 24 November 2020. Andy Reisinger Vice-chair, Working Group III, IPCC Principal Scientist, Climate Change, NZ Environment Ministry. Understanding CDR for net zero Reisinger (pdf) https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/RD%20Pres%20T1%20AReisinger.pdf
Microsoft CDR Lessons: “The market for corporate procurement of carbon removal is nascent and undeveloped. This presents some fundamental challenges: i) The global carbon credit economy as it exists today was not set up for carbon removal, and instead
has an undifferentiated focus on avoidance of emissions. ii) Assessing the quality and validity of carbon removal projects is very difficult in the absence of strong protocols and verification infrastructure. iii) Without a way to get clear and valid credit for funding removals, such as alignment with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the Science Based Targets Initiative, corporations do not have a strong business case to support removal projects.” Jan 2021 Microsoft-Carbon-Removal-Lessons-from-an-Early-Corporate-Purchase-January-2021.pdf