Germany has revised its climate law requiring the country to become fully carbon-neutral by 2045. The new update mandates the use of carbon removal solutions at the megatonne scale.
The cr.hub – a team of engineers, IT developers, economists, and industry experts working to advance the next generation of CleanTech innovation – published an article recently about the potential for negative emissions in Germany.
In the article they mention that two separate reports have just been released this month, both demonstrating potential pathways that will help Germany achieve climate neutrality within the next two decades or so.
One is the dena-Leitstudie “Towards Climate Neutrality” by the German Energy Agency, and the other is the Ariadne report, funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research as part of the larger Kopernikus Project.
The main takeaway from both of these reports and this illustrated in Germany’s new climate law is that there is a substantial amount of negative CO2 emissions required to cancel out the emissions from certain sectors, such as agriculture and industry.
However, the numbers relating to the amount of CO2 Germany needs to remove from the atmosphere to become carbon-neutral vary dramatically not only among these two reports, but also others that have been issued over the years.
The average between all studies is estimated to be about 74 Mt CO2-eq for the country to become carbon-neutral.
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What the reports do agree on is the type of technologies necessary to achieve negative CO2 emissions. Broadly, these have been distinguished as technological solutions and such that are nature-based.
The latter involves practices like reforestation, enhanced soil sequestration and the renaturation of peatlands.
As far as technological solutions go, the main emphasis is on direct air capture and storage (DACCS) solutions. Less focus is on bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). And while clearly there is no ‘silver bullet’ remedy for the climate crisis, it is clear that a new industry is forming and it is in need of rapid scaling.
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In addition to the scientific community, business groups and industry associations are also beginning to stress the need to mitigate the climate crisis.
So much so that a whole group of major corporations addressed the federal government in an open letter calling for the development of a political framework that would actively manage the carbon cycle and facilitate the implementation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) solutions.