18.10.2021

# Media

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Video: Can we remove carbon from the atmosphere? (True Planet)

"There is no ‘magic’ technology to solve climate change, says Professor Cameron Hepburn, Director and Professor of Environmental Economics at Oxford’s Smith School and director of the university’s Economics of Sustainability programme. ‘I wish there were,’ he says. ‘But we have to use all the existing tricks we have in the book as fast as possible to reduce emissions.’ Professor Hepburn emphasises there are some really interesting new technologies – and he thinks we should work to scale these up. In the meantime, he says, we already have some very old technology – the humble tree, which has been doing an important job for millennia – and is making a real contribution to reducing climate change. But Professor Hepburn says that right now, far from rewilding and restoring our ecosystems, we are deforesting and damaging nature with harmful agricultural practices. That needs to change. ‘Used together these various techniques...are going to make quite a big contribution to addressing climate change...what’s stopping us?’ Part of the problem, he says, is that somebody has to pay – and we need to talk about how to achieve that, without relying entirely on the taxpayer. But economics is only part of this, he says. We also need to think about a range of complex issues from politics to equity and beliefs – but, critically, the public needs to be on-board."

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11.10.2021

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Podcast: New Research Checks the Math of Large-Scale Tree Planting (Carbon Removal Newsroom)

"First this week, we're looking at new research schowing "Limited effects of tree planting on forest canopy cover and rural livelihoods in Northern India," and understanding why one researcher referred to the large-scale tree planting program in Northern India as a failure. We explain the significance of these research findings and the potential improvements necessary to ensure that tree planting achieves its stated goals of sequestering carbon dioxide, increasing biodiversity, and improving the livelihoods of local communities. Plus, a recent Twitter thread from German journalist Tin Fischer tells the story of a “Trillion Trees,” a figure that hardly held substance when first suggested, then took off in popular culture faster than climate scientists could shut it down. While it’s a catchy idea, the scientific paper used to support Trillion Trees in 2017 was widely critiqued for miscalculations and ultimately rescinded. We look at why this idea gained so much traction and what the realistic role of large-scale tree planting might be in drawing down carbon and addressing climate change. Finally, we put reforestation up against the portfolio of carbon removal solutions, looking at where it fits in and how it should be funded."

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04.10.2021

# Media

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Video: Why planting trees alone won't save the climate (Planet B, BR) (German)

German video on organistions calling for afforestation to save the climate.

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04.10.2021

# New Publications

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Waller, Laurie; et al. (2021): Searching for a Public in Controversies over Carbon Dioxide Removal: An Issue Mapping Study on BECCS and Afforestation

Waller, Laurie; Rayner, Tim; Chilvers, Jason (2021): Searching for a Public in Controversies over Carbon Dioxide Removal: An Issue Mapping Study on BECCS and Afforestation. In Science, Technology & Human Values, 016224392110435. DOI: 10.1177/01622439211043568.

"The roles digital media-technologies play in raising public issues relating to emerging technologies and their potential for engaging publics with science and policy assessments is a lively field of inquiry in Science and Technology Studies (STS). This paper presents an analysis of controversies over proposals for the large-scale removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CDR). The study combines a digital method (web-querying) with document analysis to map debates about two CDR approaches: bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and afforestation. In the first step, we locate actors using the web to engage with BECCS and afforestation and map their alignments in relation to competing framings of CDR. In a second step, we examine the devices deployed by UK-based actors to evidence and contest the feasibility of BECCS and afforestation. Our analysis shows that policy distinctions between “natural” and “engineered” CDR are used flexibly in practice and do not map neatly onto actor engagement with BECCS and afforestation. We highlight the predominance of cross-cutting techno-economic expertise and argue that framings of CDR as a solution to governing climate change may contribute to public disengagement from climate policy processes. The paper reflects on methods for studying controversies, publics, and issues emerging around processes of technoscientific assessment."

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30.09.2021

# Media

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Tin Fischer: #TrillionTrees

"Why do Jane Goodall or Marc Benioff think that the world needs a #TrillionTrees? It's a weird story about made up figures, an inspiring German, a flawed study, and a media frenzy. It all begins in 2013, with a boy’s speech in the UN assembly hall"

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29.09.2021

# New Publications

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Clery, Diarmaid S.; et al. (2021): Bringing greenhouse gas removal down to earth: Stakeholder supply chain appraisals reveal complex challenges

Clery, Diarmaid S.; Vaughan, Naomi E.; Forster, Johanna; Lorenzoni, Irene; Gough, Clair A.; Chilvers, Jason (2021): Bringing greenhouse gas removal down to earth: Stakeholder supply chain appraisals reveal complex challenges. In Global Environmental Change 71 (6309), p. 102369. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2021.102369.

"Greenhouse gas removal (GGR) approaches are considered essential in several projections to meet the climate mitigation ambition of the Paris Agreement. Biomass Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) and afforestation are included extensively in mitigation scenarios but there are concerns about the feasibility of these approaches. This was explored with stakeholders from industry, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and policy who were involved in interviews and a one-day participatory workshop. Multicriteria mapping (MCM) methodology was used to appraise the ‘real-world’ feasibility of four specific greenhouse gas removal supply chains at a granular level in the UK context."

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27.09.2021

# Media

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GreenBiz: Amazon invests in the Amazon

"Early this month, Amazon launched a regenerative agriculture and agroforestry accelerator to help farmers restore the company's namesake forest ecosystem, increase carbon removals and create income sources for farmers that encourages sustainable practices instead of ones based on environmentally harmful practices."

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27.09.2021

# Media

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The Guardian: Vast area of Scottish Highlands to be rewilded in ambitious 30-year project

"A large swathe of the Scottish Highlands stretching between the west coast and Loch Ness is to be rewilded as part of a 30-year project to restore nature."

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27.09.2021

# Media

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Video: C2G: Challenges and Opportunities for Harnessing Climate & SDG Synergies: the role of Carbon Dioxide Removal

"Five years on from the Paris Agreement, recognition is growing that without rapid acceleration in action, limiting global average temperature rise to 1.5-2 °C will not be possible. All the emission pathways in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C will require the removal of large volumes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using carbon dioxide removal (CDR) techniques to achieve net-zero and thereafter, net-negative emissions. CDR includes both nature-based approaches such as afforestation and reforestation, and technology-based approaches such as direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS). If deployed at the scale and pace indicated by the IPCC, CDR would create co-benefits and trade-offs for delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Substantial governance gaps exist around large-scale CDR which need to be addressed urgently to ensure that societal choices, policies, and investments consider regional and national specificities as well as climate and energy goals, in the context of the SDGs implementation. [...] The five UN Regional Commissions can play an instrumental role in bringing different actors together, addressing knowledge and governance gaps and breaking silos in implementing the SDGs. Enhancing governance of CDR could provide an excellent opportunity to focus and align regional and international efforts and foster a cross-sectorial approach. This side-event to the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy  on the 24th of September 2021, will feature the Executive Secretaries of the five UN Regional Commissions, who provide insight into how each region deals with synergies and trade-offs when it comes to responding to climate change objectives and the SDGs, including the role of CDR."

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17.09.2021

# New Publications

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Pritchard, Rose (2021): Politics, power and planting trees

Pritchard, Rose (2021): Politics, power and planting trees. In Nat Sustain 365, p. 76. DOI: 10.1038/s41893-021-00769-5.

"Tree planting is often proposed as part of the solution to climate change. A new study demonstrates why it is critical to see this as a social science issue, not just an ecological one."

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