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Delivering negative emissions

Combining technology and nature to remove carbon and other harmful emissions from the atmosphere.

Reducing harmful emissions like carbon and other greenhouse gases will not be enough on its own. For the world to reach its climate goals, we must remove remaining and historic harmful emissions from the atmosphere.

Negative emissions consist of a range of technologies and nature-based solutions that capture and permanently store CO2 and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. They offer a way to remove emissions that are currently impossible to entirely reduce in industries like aviation, agriculture and construction, and eventually begin to reverse the effects of climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Climate Change Committee and Royal Society for Engineering all agree: negative emissions and greenhouse gas removal technologies are not only important, they are essential for the world to reach its climate targets.

There are a number of proven, scalable ways to do this.

Bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is the process of using bioenergy, a renewable energy source, in combination with carbon capture technology to remove greenhouse gas emissions where they are generated and permanently store them deep underground.

Direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS) works by capturing ‘ambient’ CO2 from the atmosphere and permanently storing it. Unlike other carbon capture methods which are normally connected to an emissions source, DACCS can be deployed to remove emissions directly from the air.

Trees capture CO2 when they grow, removing it from the atmosphere and storing it both in the tree itself and in the soil. Reforestation (the process of planting trees where forest land has decreased) and afforestation (the planting of new forests) are effective nature-based solutions to increase the amount of CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere.

Similar to the way plants absorb CO2 through photosynthesis, rocks absorb CO2 as they weather and erode. This process can be artificially enhanced to increase the amount of CO2 they remove from the atmosphere.

The amount of CO2 that soil can store on agricultural land can be increased by adding a type of charcoal call biochar to the earth. As well as locking carbon into the soil it also helps it retain water and reduce agricultural methane and nitrogen emissions.

International commitments to reduce emissions will not be enough to limit global warming at the scale needed to reach the Paris Agreement targets. The world needs solutions that remove emissions as well as reduce them.

Countries, industries and companies around the world have pledged to reach net zero. Government and independent body reports agree that this target will not be possible, in the timeframe needed to avert catastrophic climate change, without negative emissions.

Negative emissions are proven. Pilot programmes are underway for technologies like BECCS and DACCS, while new techniques and ideas are delivering nature-based solutions. With the right business models and government incentives, negative emissions can rapidly evolve from blueprints to meaningful emissions removals.

But, to deliver negative emissions at the scale needed to help countries reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, action is needed today.

This will take collaboration and commitments from governments and independent bodies around the world to unambiguously support negative emissions.

The Coalition for Negative Emissions has the expertise, experience and skill to deliver negative emissions on a global scale. We are calling on those that can support us to do so.

Together, we can deliver negative emissions and protect vital industries around the world.

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