Audio Technology - 20/January/2020

Carbon removal enters mainstream climate debate

Much as in the energy transition debate, the big question is who pays for carbon removal

REALITY CHECK 
Stopping runaway climate change could require the use of controversial technologies that suck already emitted carbon out of the atmosphere

OPTIONS 
There are two overarching options for carbon removal: natural (trees) and technological. Picking the best solution rests on its potential to remove carbon, the permanence of that removal and cost. Competition for resources, notably land and biomass, also needs to be considered

KEY QUOTE 
These are complex questions. We need a better understanding of what we actually need to do

Climate change is the number one policy priority of the new European Commission, the EU’s administrative body, that came into office at the end of 2019. The European Green Deal, unveiled on December 11, is more than just a climate policy. It will define the executive’s five-year mandate, including policies for jobs, growth and the EU’s ability to compete against other world blocs. At the heart of the Green Deal is the goal for Europe’s energy consumption to be carbon neutral and achieve “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century. All EU member states except Poland have signed up to the net-zero goal and the Commission has promised to cement it in law. A legislative proposal, which will not need Poland’s approval to pass, is due in March 2020.
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