As we all know, the most important thing that needs to be done to stop climate change is dramatically reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, but that alone will not be enough to limit global warming to 1.5 C as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has requested. In addition to reducing emissions, we also need to be removing 10 gigatonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere every year by 2050.
Carbon capture is sometimes criticised for being seen as a substitution for more ‘ambitious’ efforts to reduce emissions, but the people making this argument seem to ignore the fact that carbon capture is never meant as a replacement for reducing emissions. Instead it is a necessary added boost to lowering atmospheric carbon levels, and one that is vital for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
Realistically, certain sectors including aviation and agriculture, will be unable to cut their GHG emissions to zero quickly enough to limit global warming to 1.5 C, even if they do manage a dramatic reduction. If we are to stay under this target it is vital that we utilise carbon capture technology. Expanding this market will allow businesses of all sizes and sectors to offset their emissions (in combination with other strategies to keep emissions as low as possible) and permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere.