Exploring challenges and opportunities to leveraging carbon removal strategies to help tackle climate change
With greenhouse gas emissions climbing and climate impacts becoming increasingly severe, the urgency to address climate change has never been greater. Many of the solutions to date have focused on mitigation—ways to slash emissions as quickly as possible, such as by adopting renewable energy, promoting energy efficiency and stopping deforestation. These efforts remain critically important, and we need to accelerate them. Yet the science shows they will not be enough on their own to have a good chance of meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
To prevent the worst impacts of climate change, the world will need to reach net-negative emissions, a point at which we’re actually removing and storing more carbon from the air than we’re putting into the atmosphere. This will involve deploying techniques that remove carbon from the atmosphere and permanently store it.
Carbon-removal strategies remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it through various means, such as in soils, trees, underground reservoirs, rocks, the ocean and even products like concrete and carbon fiber. The different natural and technological approaches to carbon removal come with very different risks and benefits. Experts from across WRI’s Climate, Energy, and Natural Infrastructure teams have begun conducting research that explores the challenges and opportunities to leveraging carbon removal strategies to help tackle climate change.