German minister calls for greater investment in CO2 removal research
German education and research minister Anja Karliczek is calling for immediate investment in research and development of technologies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and to include this approach in the country’s Climate Action Law. In an op-ed in financial daily Handelsblatt, Karliczek, a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), writes: “Even with green hydrogen as the future energy carrier and comprehensive climate protection measures in all other areas, we will probably not be able to reduce emissions to zero.” Germany not only has to reduce emissions, but also learn to get massive amounts of CO2 out of the atmosphere, she adds. “All scientific calculations show that this is the only way we can still achieve the Paris climate target of well below 2 degrees.” Karliczek further argues: “If we want to live and operate in a climate-neutral manner by the middle of the century, we must ensure that methods and approaches for CO2 removal are fully operational.”
Germany needs to start with CO2 removal at the latest in the next decade, Karliczek writes, adding that the country needs “to invest in this research now. It is therefore logical for us to include this approach in the new version of the Climate Action Law”. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet passed a reform of the act on Wednesday. Karliczek points out that the EU has also recognised CO2 removal methods as necessary to achieve the European climate target for 2050 and that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also includes the use of carbon dioxide removal methods (CDR) in its scientific model on a larger scale. While Karliczek notes that CO2 extraction is highly complex and has met with resistance, she nevertheless calls for “a debate without taboos”.