The New State Of CDR Report Is A Key Tool In Assessing How To Scale The Industry

The New State Of CDR Report Is A Key Tool In Assessing How To Scale The Industry - Carbon Herald

As emission reduction needs to rapidly take place for the world to meet the net zero 2050 goal, the scientific community has unanimously concluded that carbon dioxide removals or all human activities that capture CO2 from the atmosphere and store it durably, ideally in geologic reservoirs for permanent lockdown, are an indispensable part of below 1.5°C scenarios. On June 4th, the second edition of “The State Of Carbon Dioxide Removal” (CDR) report was released – one of the most comprehensive and thorough assessments of the carbon removal industry. 

The authors represent a diverse mix of climate science experts, engineers, economists, and policy experts, including several authors with deep expertise in social science. The report covers a broad range of topics like the current deployment of carbon removal, categories of CDR methods, scientific research and development, investments, demonstration projects across countries, explores the vast world of voluntary carbon markets, policy-making and governance, monitoring, reporting and verifying, media coverage and others. 

Relevant: The State Of CDR Report Reveals Need For New Tech

The report identifies several scenarios, specifying the range of necessary carbon removal in 2050. The scenarios are determined on factors like the peak temperature reached, how quickly and by how much emissions are reduced. The central range of CDR deployment is 7 to 9 GtCO2 per year in 2050 with the lowest scenario including 4 GtCO2 per year in 2050. The “more sustainable” scenarios as called by the report, cumulatively remove 170 GtCO2 between 2020 and the time of net zero.

Credit: The State Of CDR Report

Currently, around 2 GtCO2 per year of CDR is taking place, mostly from conventional methods like land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) activities, mainly afforestation and reforestation. These methods have delivered a relatively stable rate of CDR over the past two decades. Novel CDR methods contribute 1.3 million tons (0.0013 Gt) of CO2 removal per year which is less than 0.1% of total CDR. Less than 0.6 million tons per year out of the 1.3 million include geological storage of CO2 – the most durable form of CDR.

The report also identifies the gap between the amount of CDR in scenarios that meet the Paris temperature goal and the amount of CDR in national proposals. The gap for the scenarios that more sustainably limit global temperature rise is 0.9-2.8 GtCO2 per year in 2030 and 0.4-5.4 GtCO2 per year in 2050.

Investments in CDR startups have also grown significantly over the past decade, outpacing the climate-tech sector as a whole. 961 investors have participated in 803 deals, totalling $3.9 billion, during the period 2009-2023, according to the data. The leading CDR sectors that have received the most attention since 2020, are forestry CDR (38%), DACCS (23%) and biochar (14%).

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The report shows key information of prices per carbon credit across 11 carbon removal methods, with weighted averages for 2022 and 2023. It also brings special attention to monitoring, reporting, and verification as a way to build confidence in the carbon removal sector and speed up policy, deployment and innovation of projects. 

Overall, it provides a very complete and thorough snapshot of where the CDR industry is right now which could be an invaluable tool for key stakeholders in the industry to identity ways of addressing the main challenges within it, fill in knowledge gaps and build a pathway of acceleration to the levels needed to address the climate crisis.

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