World at risk of missing climate targets, says Coalition for Negative Emissions report

Global action to deliver negative emissions technologies is falling far short of what is required to address the climate crisis, a new study has warned.

Research by the newly-formed Coalition for Negative Emissions, conducted with knowledge and analytical support from McKinsey & Company, states that to limit global warming to 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels as agreed in Paris in 2015, efforts to reduce emissions must be combined with annual negative emissions of up to 1.2 Gt by 2025 – equivalent to more than three times the UK’s annual CO2 emissions.

The study shows negative emissions solutions including bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), direct air capture and storage, and natural climate solutions such as afforestation, are all proven and can each provide at least 1 Gt of sustainable negative emissions. In addition to achieving global climate targets, deploying these solutions at scale could create up to 10 million new jobs worldwide.

However, based on the current pipeline of projects, the Coalition research finds the level of negative emissions required by 2025 in the IPCC’s 1.5oC pathway will likely be missed by 80%. Investment in negative emissions solutions must also increase by 30 times current levels to meet the needs of the 1.5oC pathway. If there is no action until 2030, around 8 Gt of negative emissions debt will have been built up, increasing the costs and disruption to society required to keep global warming within 1.5oC.

“Negative emissions solutions are proven and ready to go but in order to play a critical role in tackling the climate crisis, they must be deployed much faster than current projections,” said Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax Group.

“The UK, alongside international partners, has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lead the world in deploying negative emissions solutions – tackling climate change and saving economies billions while creating millions of new green jobs around the world.”

Jens Price Wolf, general manager, Europe for Enviva, a founding member of the Coalition for Negative Emissions, said: “If we are serious about tackling climate change, we need to deploy negative emissions technologies urgently and at scale.

"These technologies do not only offer opportunities to decarbonise the energy sector, but also heavy industries such as steel and cement, making it an overarching tool to achieve our climate goals.”

If you wish to learn more about what Enviva is doing in the biomass sector, Thomas Meth, executive vice-president of sales and marketing at Enviva, will be speaking at this year’s International Biogas Congress & Expo in Brussels on 19-20 October. For more information go to: bioenergy-news.com/conference.

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