Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration

National Academy Press
http://bit.ly/1JnjdVF

[Energy Collective] …Two factors have likely contributed to CDR’s position on the sideline for the climate conversation:

  1. CDR solutions have historically been conflated with the too-risky/speculative-to-even-research Albedo Modification (formerly Solar Radiation Management) “geoengineering” techniques
  2. Most CDR solutions cost more than other greenhouse gas (“GHG”) abatement approaches (e.g. solar, wind, energy efficiency, avoided deforestation, etc.), leaving little economic incentive for CDR approaches to develop organically.

The release of the NAS report takes important steps towards reducing both of these barriers for CDR to enter the mainstream climate change conversation. First, the NAS released two distinct reports – one on CDR and the other on Albedo Modification – with language explicitly stating that these two categories of “climate interventions” should not be analyzed together. Second, the report unequivocally endorses expanded R&D funding into CDR approaches, in hopes that such funding will enable the eventual commercialization of these CDR approaches.

The NAS analysis stops before identifying the necessary R&D required for developing and commercializing CDR solutions…

The report clearly states that the first-best option for preventing climate change is stopping GHG emissions, and that neither the development of CDR approaches nor the development of Albedo Modification approaches will change this finding.

The report’s first recommendation is that

“efforts to address climate change should continue to focus most heavily on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions in combination with adapting to the impacts of climate change because these approaches do not present poorly defined and poorly quantified risks and are at a greater state of technological readiness.”

The report goes on to reiterate that

“there is no substitute for dramatic reductions in the emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases to mitigate the negative consequences of climate change, and concurrently to reduce ocean acidification.” And by “helping to bring light to this topic area, carbon dioxide removal technologies could become one more viable strategy for addressing climate change…”

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