24 May 2019, 13:24
Benjamin Wehrmann

German UN climate report author says country needs carbon storage to become climate-neutral

Spiegel Online

The goal of becoming a net-zero emitter of carbon dioxide by the middle of the century can only be achieved by Germany if the country also uses carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, UN climate report author and SWP policy researcher Oliver Geden says in an interview with Spiegel Online. Geden says deciding which emissions are so difficult to avoid that CCS becomes the best option for neutralising them “will become a central question in the climate policy debate”. He says environmental organisations often claim that only natural carbon sinks, such as moorlands or forests, are acceptable solutions - but these are not abundant enough to absorb enough CO2 to be sufficient for Germany. “We need more research pilot projects,” Geden says, adding that a rejection of CCS by citizens and environmental groups could turn into “a big obstacle” on the way to climate neutrality. 

Chancellor Angela Merkel recently set the country on track to aim for net-zero emissions by 2050, pushing forward the earlier debate over whether Germany should aim for an 80 or 95 percent reduction of carbon emissions by the middle of the century. She added that CCS would have to play a role in this context, a claim that later was backed by similar remarks from environment minister Svenja Schulze.

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