Unpacking The Latest Bellona Report On Carbon Dioxide Removal Technologies

Unpacking The Latest Bellona Report On Carbon Dioxide Removal Technologies - Carbon Herald

Towards the end of 2023, climate non-profit organization Bellona published a report on carbon dioxide removal (CDR) mechanisms, shedding light on the complexities associated with these technologies and the challenges that come with their widespread adoption.

The report, named “Who Should Use Negative Emissions Technologies and Practices (NETPs)? Managing Expectations for NETP Demand: Considerations for Allocating Carbon Dioxide Removals” explores the topic of CDR being a limited and scarce resource, raising questions about who should have priority access to it. 

While it does not offer a definitive solution, it highlights important factors to consider when making this choice.

Relevant: Bellona Europa Launches Project Highlighting Ports As Decarbonization Hubs

Some key recommendations for allocating these mechanisms include utilizing market-based allotments such as emissions trading schemes and requiring emitters to purchase certified removals, while keeping in mind the potential risk of a significant mismatch between required and available removal volumes.

Another suggestion is to ensure regulatory compliance by implementing centralized removal purchases through systems like a Carbon Central Bank. 

Allocation could also be based on the type of use case, similar to the EU CRCF, which would create a framework that distinguishes between different types of carbon removal, carbon farming, and product storage based on their impact on the climate and permanency.

According to the report, CDR may only offset 3–8% of current global emissions by 2050, underscoring a significant shortage. In order to achieve net-zero goals, emissions in most industries will need to be reduced by 93–97%.

Read more: “We Want To Send A Strong Signal That There Is Demand For Carbon Dioxide Removal” – Philip Moss, Chairman of NextGen CDR Facility

The report also suggests that by 2050, the capacity for geological carbon storage may be limited to 1–1.2 gigatons of CO2 equivalent per year, presenting a major obstacle for CDR to offset fossil fuel emissions (excluding non-geological CDR).

The findings in the Bellona report highlight the varying capabilities of different sectors to reduce emissions, with sectors like aviation and agriculture expected to have significant residual emissions and thus a greater reliance on CDR.

Although some experts in the field argue that the report may not cover a wide enough range of topics, it still emphasizes the significance of properly scaling CDR technologies to ensure they make a meaningful impact in combating climate change.

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