What carbon removal can — and can't — achieve
Boldface names in the carbon removal sector and wider climate world want to make something crystal clear: They don't see the tech as a substitute for cutting emissions, and neither should you.
Driving the news: "Emission reductions and [carbon dioxide removal] should be clearly distinguished from each other," the direct air capture company Climeworks said in a lengthy new statement.
How it works: Those differences must be explicitly recognized "in climate pathways, target setting as well as in industry standards."
- The same holds true in emissions credits markets and certificate programs.
Why it matters: This would help ensure "moral hazard is addressed, namely the claim that investing into CDR today could distract from emission reductions."
Zoom in: Backers include officials with Microsoft and Stripe (two companies heavily involved with removal), the CCS+ Initiative and others.
The big picture: It cites UN climate science panel estimates that emissions must fall 90% by 2050 to limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
- Removal is "needed to neutralize any residual emissions and thus enable the world to achieve net zero CO2 by 2050."