Negative emissions technologies not the solution to global warming: report


In a new report by the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC), senior scientists from across Europe have found that negative emission technologies (NETs) have “limited realistic potential” to halt increases in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at the scale envisioned in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios.

The report finds that none of the NETs - including reforestation, afforestation, carbon-friendly agriculture, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCs), enhanced weathering, ocean fertilisation, or direct air capture and carbon storage (DACCs) - has the potential to deliver carbon removals at the gigaton (Gt) scale and at the rate of deployment envisaged by the IPCC.

“Scenarios and projections that suggest that NETs’ future contribution to CO2 removal will allow Paris targets to be met appear optimistic on the basis of current knowledge and should not form the basis of developing, analysing, and comparing scenarios of longer-term energy pathways for the EU. Relying on NETs to compensate for failures to adequately mitigate emissions may have serious implications for future generations," state the European science academies.

The report, Negative emission technologies: What role in meeting Paris Agreement targets? is available here.

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