In an open letter, carbon removal company Climeworks calls for a clear distinction between the terms carbon removals and emissions reductions.
As has been detailed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require not only for the world to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but also to pull CO2 from the atmosphere – a process referred to as carbon dioxide removal (CDR).
Climeworks, as one of the global leaders in the CDR space, is therefore addressing the need for CDR to have a clear and distinct role from that of emissions reduction solutions.
One of the main reasons cited for this need is that both emissions reductions and carbon removals have an important role to play in mitigating climate change, but these roles are different and they are not interchangeable.
To achieve this distinction between the two, Climeworks call for changes in target setting, industry standards and climate pathways.
Relevant: Climeworks & Others Call For Creation Of CDR Standards
Such distinction would help resolve and put to rest claims that investing in CDR would draw attention away from emissions reduction efforts.
On a different level, it would also be a needed change in carbon credits and marketplaces, as once we have reached net-zero emissions globally, there will no longer be credits generated from emissions reductions, while CDR solutions will likely still remain a necessary solution to deal with residual and historic emissions.
To this, Christoph Beuttler, Climeworks’ Chief Climate Policy Officer, said: “Climate policy and climate action via carbon markets need to internalize this logic to realize their full potential. In practice this translates to separated targets as well as distinct credit categories for activities that reduce or avoid emissions compared to carbon removal.”
Read more: Climeworks Delivers First Verified Carbon Removals To Corporate Customers