The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just released its new Synthesis Report, which focuses in particular on the need to double down on CDR and carbon capture.
The Synthesis Report combines the findings of another six previously published reports, including the best-known Special Report on 1.5 Degrees.
Some of the key takeaways include the undeniable role that carbon dioxide removal or CDR will play in the mitigation of the climate crisis.
Hence, the report stresses the need to deploy more CDR solutions, especially in case global warming exceeds 1.5°C, which, however, will result in more concerns relating to sustainability and feasibility.
Meeting net-zero targets will also most certainly require the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, particularly as a means of reducing CO2 emissions from the fossil fuel industry.
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Other hard-to-abate sectors where CCS is currently still underdeveloped yet a much needed mitigation option include chemical and cement manufacturing.
The IPCC report estimates that there is a technical geological storage capacity of 1000 gigatons of CO2, which is more than what will be required from now until 2100 to achieve climate goals.
The final wording of the report’s “summary for policymakers” was the subject of heated debates during meetings in Interlaken, Switzerland, where fossil fuel-producing countries lobbied for stronger emphasis on CDR technologies.
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Saudi Arabian representatives were among those pushing for CDR, which caused arguments with those who believe carbon capture and CDR to be ‘unproven and underdeveloped technologies’.
Their views, in contrast, call for more focus on emissions reduction efforts and, essentially, the phase out of oil and gas.
COP28 president-designate Sultan al-Jaber, who is also the head of the United Arab Emirates’ state-owned oil company Adnoc, was also among the supporters of carbon capture and even called for more government incentives to bring down the costs of the technology.