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24 Jun 2020, 14:20
Kerstine Appunn

Negative emissions not part of countries’ and companies’ climate strategies yet – WEC

Clean Energy Wire

More and more countries and businesses have set the goal of becoming climate neutral but few of them have incorporated negative emission technologies into their climate plans, the World Energy Council (WEC) says in its annual energy report on Germany. Mechanisms to withdraw CO2 from the atmosphere can range from afforestation to direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS). According to the WEC, countries could not only achieve their climate targets more easily but also gain a competitive advantage with new technologies.

Looking into the German and European situation, the WEC report finds that even a complete European-wide coal exit by 2030 would not achieve a more stringent climate target of a 50-55 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 as envisaged in the European Green Deal. Germany would then have to shoulder even higher reductions itself, something the WEC says would be unrealistic, especially in the transport and heating sectors.

In order to achieve the goal set out in the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to below two degrees, solutions that remove already emitted CO2 from the air on a massive scale will have to complement global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to most scenarios. CO₂ removal has so far played a minor role in the European climate policy debate, although it is included in the European Commission’s long-term climate strategy, which pursues the goal of becoming the first climate neutral continent by 2050. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has put controversial carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology back on the agenda, saying it was crucial for the country to reach climate neutrality by mid-century.

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