Now Reading
On top of drastic emissions cuts, IPCC finds large-scale CO₂ removal from air will be “essential” to meeting targets
[vc_row thb_full_width=”true” thb_row_padding=”true” thb_column_padding=”true” css=”.vc_custom_1608290870297{background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][thb_postcarousel style=”style3″ navigation=”true” infinite=”” source=”size:6|post_type:post”][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

On top of drastic emissions cuts, IPCC finds large-scale CO₂ removal from air will be “essential” to meeting targets

An established forest is seen in the background, with smaller newly-planted trees in the front


Large-scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) methods is now “unavoidable” if the world is to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, according to this week’s ReportBy the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The report, released on Monday, finds that in addition to rapid and deep reductions in greenhouse emissions, CO₂ removal is “an essential element of scenarios that limit warming to 1.5℃ or likely below 2℃ by 2100”.

CDR refers to a suite of activities that lower the concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere. This is done by removing CO₂ molecules and storing the carbon in plants, trees, soil, geological reservoirs, ocean reservoirs or products derived from CO₂.

The IPCC states that each mechanism is unique and has its own advantages and pitfalls. CDR projects must be responsibly implemented.

How does CDR function?

CDR is distinct from “carbon capture”, which involves catching CO₂ at the source, such as a coal-fired power plant or steel mill, before it reaches the atmosphere.

There are There are many ways to do it to remove CO₂ from the air. They include:

  • Solutions for terrestrial problemsYou can limit soil disturbances by planting trees or using regenerative soil practices like cover cropping or low-till agriculture. oxidise soil carbon and release CO₂.

  • Geochemical approaches that store CO₂ as a solid mineral carbonate in rocks. In a process known as “enhanced mineral weathering”, rocks such as limestone and olivine can be finely ground to increase their surface area and enhance a naturally occurring process whereby minerals rich in calcium and magnesium react with CO₂ to form a stable mineral carbonate.

  • Chemical solutionsDirect air capture is an example of this type of use Engineered filters to remove CO₂ molecules from air. The captured CO₂ can then be injected deep underground into saline aquifers and basaltic rock formations for durable sequestration.

  • ocean-basedSolutionsYou can also get enhanced alkalinity. This can be done by either adding alkaline substances to the environment or electrochemically transforming seawater. These methods require further research before they can be used.

Where is it being used now?

Charm Industrial, a US-based company, has so far DeliveredCDR has a total of 5,000 tonnes, making it the largest volume to date. This is equivalent to about 500,000 tonnes of CDR. 1,000 carsIn one year.

There are plans for larger-scale, direct air capture facilities. Climeworks will open Climeworks in September 2021. Open a facility in Iceland with a 4,000 tonne per annum capacity for CO₂ removal. The Biden Administration in the USA has also facilitated CO2 removal at a facility in Iceland. Allocate US$3.5 billion to build four separate direct air capture hubs, each with the capacity to remove at least one million tonnes of CO₂ per year.

However, an IPCC previous report Report estimated that to limit global warming to 1.5℃, between 100 billion and one trillion tonnes of CO₂ must be removed from the atmosphere this century. These projects are a huge step up, but they are not enough to meet the demands of what is needed.

Australia Southern Green GasAnd Corporate Carbon are developing one of the country’s first direct air capture projects. This is being done in collaboration with University of Sydney researchers.

In this system, fans push atmospheric air over finely tuned filters made from molecular adsorbents, which can remove CO₂ molecules from the air. The captured CO₂ can then be injected deep underground, where it can remain for thousands of Years.


CDR cannot replace emissions reductions. CDR can complement these efforts. The IPCC has provided three examples of how this could be done.

In the short term, CDR could help reduce net CO₂ emissions. This is essential if we want to limit global warming below critical temperature thresholds.

In the medium term, it could help balance out emissions from sectors such as agriculture, aviation, shipping and industrial manufacturing, where straightforward zero-emission alternatives don’t yet exist.

In the long term, CDR could potentially remove large amounts of historical emissions, stabilising atmospheric CO₂ and eventually bringing it back down to pre-industrial levels.

Continue reading:
To prevent the worst effects of climate change, the Earth requires multiple methods to remove CO2 from the atmosphere

The IPCC’s latest report has estimated the technological readiness levels, costs, scale-up potential, risk and impacts, co-benefits and trade-offs for 12 different forms of CDR. This report provides an updated view on many forms of CDR that have not been explored in previous reports.

It estimates each tonne of CO₂ retrieved through direct air capture will cost US$84–386, and that there is the feasible potential to remove between 5 billion and 40 billion tonnes annually.

Concerns and challenges

Each CDR method is unique and complex, so there is no one-size fits all. There are many issues to consider as deployment increases.

The IPCC states that increasing CDR must not distract from efforts to drastically reduce emissions. They Write that “CDR cannot serve as a substitute for deep emissions reductions but can fulfil multiple complementary roles”.

CDR projects can be detrimental to agriculture and could even threaten the land supply. The IPCC warns that CDR projects must be done with care to ensure that they do not adversely affect biodiversity, land-use, and food security.

The IPCC also noted that CDR methods can be energy-intensive and could use renewable energy in order to decarbonise other activities.

It expressed concern that CDR could also increase water scarcity, and make Earth more difficult to sustain. Reflect less sunlight, such is the case in large-scale forest restoration.

An established forest is seen in the background, with smaller newly-planted trees in the front

For example, infrared radiation can be increased and warming can be achieved by forestry projects in high latitudes and regions with high reflectivity.

Continue reading:
Solar panels in Sahara could boost renewable energy but damage the global climate – here’s why

Each CDR may work best in a different location depending on the solution. So being thoughtful about placement can ensure crops and trees are planted where they won’t dramatically alter the Earth’s reflectivity, or use too much water.

Direct air capture systems can be placed in remote locations that have easy access to off-grid renewable energy, and where they won’t compete with agriculture or forests.

Finally, deploying long-duration CDR solutions can be quite expensive – far more so than short-duration solutions such as planting trees and altering soil. This has hampered CDR’s commercial viability thus far.

However, costs will likely fall, just as they have for many other technologies, including solar, wind, and lithium-ion battery. The technology will determine the trajectory of CDR costs.

Future efforts

The IPCC recommends that future research, development, and demonstration be accelerated. It also recommends targeted incentives to increase the number of CDR projects. It also emphasizes the need to improve measurement, reporting, and verification methods for carbon storage.

CDR projects must be responsibly deployed. This requires more work. CDR deployment must involve communities, policymakers, scientists and entrepreneurs to ensure it’s done in an environmentally, ethically and socially responsible way.


View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.