Large-scale carbon dioxide removal (CDR), also referred to as “negative emissions”, is increasingly seen as a key component of climate change mitigation pathways that limit warming to 1.5C or 2C. Its prominence in global pathways derived from technologically focused integrated assessment models has spurred a growing scientific literature that explores the potential opportunities, risks and trade-offs of relying on CDR. This literature – even when it questions the assumptions and feasibility constraints underpinning large-scale CDR – tends to frame the various CDR approaches as novel and untested, and mostly focuses on hypothetical future scenarios. Yet CDR has a longer and, in many ways, more tangible history than this framing suggests – the lessons of which are largely overlooked in much of the current debate. In our new paper, published in WIREs Climate Change, we review this history and draw out some key lessons for scaling up implementation of CDR.
Carbon Brief 27th Aug 2020 read more »