Most net-zero scenarios include carbon removal as a major component. Simon Göss at cr.hub reviews four major scenarios from the IPCC, IEA, McKinsey, and the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). He starts by making the very important distinction between carbon capture and negative emissions: capturing carbon from, say, a gas plant does not deliver negative emissions, it just prevents new emissions. This article is about the make-or-break negative emissions, or carbon removal, the world needs: between 5% and 20% of the 50Gt/year emitted today, the rest being reduced by actual cuts in emissions. The current pipeline of projects is a mere fraction of that, about 0.15 Gt, coming from things like Natural Climate Solutions, Bioenergy with CCS and Direct-Air-Capture. Hence, all four scenarios demand a rapid scale-up of the investment and policies, even if they differ on possible pathways. Modelling methodologies also need attention, as different scenarios make different assumptions over which emissions relate to which part of the economy, what’s included, and what exactly qualifies as carbon removal and what does not. Much more clarity will help policy-makers. It’s confusing enough already, as policies and targets for other sectors – coal exit, the role of gas, etc., – directly affect carbon removal targets. Göss ends with policy implications, and what industry is doing to prepare itself.
Energy Post 20th July 2021 read more »