A new report says more CO2 removal projects are needed

(Paris) Forests, water bodies, peat bogs, cars… CO abatement projects2 In order to achieve the international climate goals, which will require the massive and rapid development of innovative technologies, it is currently not enough, according to scientists in the first global assessment on the subject.


The study, published Thursday (“The State of Carbon Dioxide Extraction”) by the University of Oxford, combines CO2 capture tools.2 into the atmosphere for long-term storage, such as through newer techniques such as reforestation or direct CO capture2 in the air.

Innovative technologies – for example, the Climeworks plant, which removes CO directly2 The weather in Iceland is extremely marginal right now. It removes in a year what humanity produces in a few seconds.

According to the researchers, these new methods will have to grow “rapidly” to stay within the framework of the Paris agreement. According to the scenarios, by 2050 their capabilities should be multiplied by a factor of 1300 or even more.

The authors conclude that there is a “gap between the level of carbon removal planned by governments and what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement”, which calls for limiting warming to well below 2°C and, if possible, to 1.5°C. , when the world is already 1.2°C.

These carbon dioxide extraction (EDC) techniques focus on CO2 is already released into the atmosphere and thus differs from carbon capture and storage systems (CCS) at the source, such as factory stacks.

EDC now emits 2 billion tons of CO22 annual reduction of the atmosphere due almost exclusively to forests (reforestation, management of existing forests, etc.), i.e. a part of the global emissions of about 40 billion tons today.

“Resize”

The researchers insist that these methods should not be seen as a magic wand that negates emissions reductions. “Emissions reduction must always be a priority,” said Emily Cox of the University of Oxford in a presentation to reporters.

“At the same time, we need to aggressively develop and scale up DVT, especially these innovative methods. We are only at the beginning with them and it will take time,” said Jan Minks of the Berlin-based Mercator Research Institute.

Long seen as marginal or a ploy by industry to avoid reducing their emissions, DVCs are now recognized as a necessary tool by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Their models, for example, retain an important part for bioenergy techniques with carbon capture and storage: it involves growing trees to absorb CO.2 as it grows, it burns them to produce energy and traps CO2 as a result of this combustion, for example, in abandoned mines.

“wallet”

This particular technique, long emphasized by the IPCC, is currently difficult to develop and is hampered by the lack of available land. This type of facility of the Drax company, which imports wood from Canada in Great Britain, was selected for its environmental record.

Other EDC methods are in various stages of experimentation and development: improving the carbon sequestration capacity of soils, converting biomass into a coal-like substance called biochar, restoring peatlands and coastal wetlands, or crushing mineral-rich rocks that absorb CO.2 spreading them on land or sea.

Scientists are also testing ways to increase the ability to absorb CO2 of the oceans, for example, by artificially increasing the alkalinity of the sea, or by “fertilizing” the oceans, that is, by increasing the density of phytoplankton that sequester organic carbon through photosynthesis.

The authors of the study suggest not to rely on only one of these methods, but to have a “portfolio” of solutions, the composition of which will change over time, depending on the resources, technologies and preferences of the moment.

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