The first edition of the state of the Carbon Dioxide Removal report is out. And, it confirms what many of us have been reiterating for a long time.
- The current status of Carbon Dioxide Removal is just a fraction of what is needed to achieve our goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees.
- The total CDR is approximately 2 GtCO2 per year compared to 12-16 GtCO2 per year required for meeting Paris Agreement.
- We have put an unsubstantiated hope in ‘Novel’ technologies that would bail us out by removing carbon from the air. Unfortunately, so far these ‘novel’ technologies have remained nascent or emerging and almost all the CDR has been through conventional methods. Out of 2GtCO2 CDR achieved, the novel technologies (BECCS: Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, Biochar, and others) have contributed only 0.002 GtCO2.
These findings underline the urgency that countries need to have more aggressive targets for reducing carbon emissions and the traditional CDR (Land Use Change and Forestry – includes agroforestry, improved forest management, wetland restoration, afforestation etc) as we keep our focus on finding and developing novel technologies for CDR. This is necessary as in all the scenarios we have, we do not have any options to achieve Net Zero/Decarbonization without CDR.