NEW YORK — New research from the Center on Global Energy Policy at New York City’s Columbia University SIPA and the Global CCS Institute argues that greater investment in technology that removes existing carbon dioxide is critical to reducing global warming.
The study, titled Net-Zero and Geospheric Return: Actions Today for 2030 and Beyond, says that climate finance policies and technologies will need to grow rapidly within the next 10 years to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and decarbonize the global economy, states a Sept. 22 release.
The report recommends immediate actions needed to achieve net-zero global emissions at lowest cost and greatest speed, including:
- Investments in transportation and infrastructure: Estimates suggest that the 8,000 kilometres of existing carbon dioxide pipelines in North America must be expanded by an additional 35,000 kilometres to maximize emissions reduction. Similarly, industrial hubs and clusters, now under development in Europe, China and the Middle East, can accelerate the deployment of carbon capture and storage at reduced cost. More storage sites and shipping options must be assessed and approved.
- Investments in carbon capture and storage projects: Currently, there are 19 large-scale industrial and two large-scale power facilities that capture and store carbon emissions at their source, with combined capacity of about 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. There are an additional 20 similar projects under development. The International Energy Agency estimates these types of carbon capture and storage projects must increase by a factor of 35 from today to mitigate the needed 1.5 gigatonnes per year by 2030 and stay on a course to keep global warming to a 1.5 degree increase by 2030.
Julio Friedmann, lead author of the report and senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy, said, “This report explains in practical terms what we can do now to rapidly reduce today’s carbon pollution and remove past emissions from the air and oceans, and states again a key fact: returning carbon dioxide emissions to earth’s crust is a pathway that saves time, saves money and speeds up our progress towards that goal.”