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Carbon removal plays a crucial role limiting global temperature rise

Updated: Sep 11, 2023


The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced that in order to meet our 1.5°C target, urgent action is needed before 2039 [1]


The reduction of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere involves both mitigation, negation of emissions the source, and removal to ensure global temperatures are kept below 1.5°C by 2100.


The role of carbon dioxide removal has been explained by academic and climate scientists as an important tool in removing the impact of emissions throughout time. In it’s assessment of mitigation strategies, the IPCC’s Working group III, charged with investigating carbon mitigation strategies, explained that 1.5°C and 2°C pathways rely heavily on carbon dioxide removal (CDR) at a large scale before the middle of this century [2].


Carbon mitigation is essential to eliminating future carbon dioxide emissions from exacerbating carbon levels. However, mitigation is hampered by the reduction of carbon only occurring at a specific place and time [3]. It provides a method to undo the damage human activities and emissions have historically caused.


“The ability to directly remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere allows the decoupling of emissions and emissions control in space and time.” [3]


Figure 1: The role of carbon removal in achieving 1.5°C global warming scenario. Sourced [4]


The IPCC has identified CDR’s potential to compensate for emissions in industries that cannot completely decarbonize, or require extensive time to implement structural changes [5]. It should also alleviate pressure on the most costly methods of carbon mitigation [3].


Clearly there is a need to develop and fund carbon removal projects, this push to support carbon removal was reiterated by the World Resources Institute. Focusing on the United States, analysis indicated that carbon removal capacity needs to be rapidly increased to 2 GtCO2 annually before 2050. This carbon removal pool is needed to offset the emissions expected to be left unabated in the 2050s [4]. The scale of this investment is large, with $6 billion USD per year of federal funding necessary to kickstart the carbon removal through forestry based solutions amongst other technologies [4].


Clearly carbon removal will play an increasingly important role in achieving the 1.5°C scenario. However, recognising that carbon removal plays one role in a holistic and multifaceted response to net zero scenarios. Mitigation will remain the core pillar in the international response to reductions up to mid-century.


Even if developed and deployed successfully, CO2 removal technologies should not be seen as justification to continue emitting freely—they represent a suite of strategies that complement rather than substitute for emissions reductions”. [6]


In summary, carbon mitigation – the reduction of emissions – will be responsible for the lion’s share of emissions over the coming decades. However, certain sectors of industry, unable to achieve zero emissions operation from reduction alone, will require carbon removal to achieve net zero. Biocare, with specialised solutions in the carbon removal and carbon offset space, plays a crucial role in delivering these technical solutions. Collaboration and development to achieve the IPCC’s 1.5°C targets will ensure current and future generations experience a net-positive impact world in the coming decades.


BioCare is focused on transitioning markets towards a better climate future. Staying ahead of the market, we strive to facilitate the transition from a net-zero carbon world, to a net positive impact future. Providing tangible solutions to reduce waste, streamline processes and introduce new income sources. With solutions focused on heavy industry, agriculture and forestry carbon removal, and carbon offsets are a speciality of Biocare.


[1] IPCC, “The evidence is clear: the time for action is now. We can halve emissions by 2030. ,” Apr. 04, 2022. https://www.ipcc.ch/2022/04/04/ipcc-ar6-wgiii-pressrelease/ (accessed Apr. 08, 2022).


[2] J. Rogelj, D. Shindell, and K. Jiang, “ Mitigation Pathways Compatible with 1.5°C in the Context of Sustainable Development,” in Global Warming of 1.5°C. An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change…, Pallav Purohit, 2018.


[3] E. Kriegler, O. Edenhofer, L. Reuster, G. Luderer, and D. Klein, “Is atmospheric carbon dioxide removal a game changer for climate change mitigation?,” Clim. Change, vol. 118, no. 1, pp. 45–57, May 2013, doi: 10.1007/S10584-012-0681-4.


[4] J. Mulligan, A. Rudee, K. Lebling, K. Levin, J. Anderson, and B. Christensen, “CarbonShot: Federal Policy Options for Carbon Removal in the United States,” Jan. 2020. Accessed: Apr. 14, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.wri.org/research/carbonshot-federal-policy-options-carbon-removal-united-states


[5] IPCC, “What are Carbon Dioxide Removal and Negative Emissions?,” IPCC, 2022. https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/faq/faq-chapter-4/ (accessed Apr. 14, 2022).


[6] The White House, “United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization,” no. November, p. 111, 2016, [Online]. Available: https://unfccc.int/files/focus/long-term_strategies/application/pdf/us_mid_century_strategy.pdf

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