27.09.2021

# Media

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Clean Energy Wire: The carbon balancing act: Emission reduction and removal in the bid for net-zero

"“Achieving net-zero” emissions by the middle of the century is a goal that few would fault. But when it comes to reaching a balance of greenhouse gases and carbon removal – as not all emissions from food and industrial production can be entirely prevented – views start to diverge. Many argue that it is high time countries start building up a new industry of CO2 removers, scale it up and drive down prices, or at least standardise the use of readily available nature-based carbon uptake options. Others warn that relying on removal methods, be they carbon storage in soils or capturing CO2 from industrial processes or directly out of the air and then storing it underground, only draws attention away from the really important task of avoiding emissions altogether. In Germany, the debate on negative emissions is picking up, as all projections show there won’t be a way around them in 2045. But a deep aversion to carbon capture and (underground) storage (CCS) is preventing an easy decision, while the European Commission is preparing carbon removal legislation and other players and nations are darting ahead planning the future carbon offset market and a CO2 infrastructure."

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27.09.2021

# Media

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GreenBiz: What you should know about carbon removal purchase agreements

"10 billion tons. That’s the amount of carbon dioxide the United Nations figures we need to remove from the atmosphere annually by 2050 to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. 4,000 metric tons. That’s the capacity of the world’s largest direct air capture facility in Iceland, brought online in early September by Swiss venture Climeworks. Clearly, that’s quite a gap between supply and demand."

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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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27.09.2021

# Media

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Video: C2GDiscuss: From net-zero to net-negative: policy implications for Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)

"According to IPCC, large-scale Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) is required in all of its pathways to limit global warming to 1.5oC with limited or no overshoot. CDR methods vary and include the use of nature-based approaches, such as afforestation and enhancing wetlands, or engineering-based approaches to directly capture CO2. At scale, they all present potential benefits and risks of negative side-effects and pose significant governance challenges, and many governance gaps exist. Discussions around CDR governance, in particular on nature-based approaches to CDR as well as direct air carbon capture and storage, have recently gained growing interest in light of the wave of net-zero pledges by governments, companies and other actors over the last two years. However, important knowledge gaps persist around the role CDR could play in achieving net-negative emissions after net-zero to deliver the Paris Agreement’s goals. This C2GDiscuss will explore issues such as, what needs to be done now to have CDR functioning by the time we need it; how can the full potential of CDR be realized as a climate response whilst making sure that the co-benefits are maximized, and trade-offs minimized in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)."

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23.09.2021

# Political Papers

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Möllersten, Kenneth; et al. (2021): Policies for the promotion of BECCS in the Nordic countries. Nordic Council of Ministers

Möllersten, Kenneth; Zetterberg, Lars; Nielsen, Tobias; Torvanger, Asbjörn; Siikavirta, Hanne; Kujanpää, Lauri; Hannula, Ilkka (2021): Policies for the promotion of BECCS in the Nordic countries. Nordic Council of Ministers. Copenhagen. Available online at https://pub.norden.org/temanord2021-538/temanord2021-538.pdf.

"This report aims to analyse barriers that slow down the development and deployment of bioenergy with carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage (BECCS) in the Nordic countries and to propose appropriate initiatives on the Nordic level that can support BECCS development and deployment."

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23.09.2021

# Media

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Project Syndicate: We Need to Talk About Geoengineering

"Although climate change is primarily caused by excess greenhouse-gas emissions, there are many links in the chain between economic activities and the real-world effects of planetary warming. Each of these can be addressed in different ways, and all options should at least be on the table."

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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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13.09.2021

# Media

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Podcast: Carbon Removal Newsroom: Biochar, carbon dioxide removal in the US, and geoengineering

"This week on Carbon Removal Newsroom, we’re starting off with an overview of biochar and discussing the main questions and concerns around this technology, including: How does biochar compare to other Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) methods? There is a lot of interest in making biochar, but does the market exist to use it? What can governments do to help scale up the use of biochar as a carbon removal technique? Are any governments taking action yet? Next, we transition to the CDR policy agenda in the United States. We look at the California Climate Crisis Act (AB 1395), which would Codify California’s commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and no later than 2045. If passed, this bill will set California on course to design a more comprehensive policy framework for CDR than exists in any state so far."

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13.09.2021

# Media

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The Hill: A realistic response to the climate wake-up call

"Leaders across the world raised the alarm in response to the latest assessment of climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Christiana Figueres, the former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change said, 'This is a massive wake-up call that is sounding yet another alarm bell.' Al Gore warned 'There is no time left to waste,' and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, 'A code red for humanity.'"

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08.09.2021

# Political Papers

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Romany M. Webb, et al. (2021): Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement and Seaweed Cultivation. Legal Challenges and Opportunities. Columbia Law School: Sabin Centre for Climate Change Law

Romany M. Webb, Korey Silverman-Roati (2021): Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement and Seaweed Cultivation. Legal Challenges and Opportunities. Columbia Law School: Sabin Centre for Climate Change Law. New York. Available online at https://climate.law.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/content/Webb%20et%20al%20-%20Removing%20CO2%20Through%20Ocean%20Alkalinity%20Enhancement%.

"This paper explores two ocean-based carbon dioxide removal strategies—ocean alkalinity enhancement and seaweed cultivation. Ocean alkalinity enhancement involves adding alkalinity to ocean waters, either by discharging alkaline rocks or through an electrochemical process, which increases ocean pH levels and thereby enables greater uptake of carbon dioxide, as well as reducing the adverse impacts of ocean acidification. Seaweed cultivation involves the growing of kelp and other macroalgae to store carbon in biomass, which can then either be used to replace more greenhouse gas-intensive products or sequestered. This paper examines the international and U.S. legal frameworks that apply to ocean alkalinity enhancement and seaweed cultivation. Depending on where they occur, such activities may be subject to international, national, state, and/or local jurisdiction."

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