How much carbon do we need to take out of the atmosphere? Current global scenarios
- Jul 28, 2021 10:58 am GMT
Net zero targets are taking centre stage in climate policy and action. Depending on the speed of emissions reductions in the coming years and the ambition level of climate goals, negative emissions and thus carbon removal from the atmosphere will be instrumental for achieving those targets. To get a better picture of the scale required we dig into the latest global reports on Net Zero scenarios.
Net Zero terminology
Even after aggressive emission reduction have taken place, residual emissions might still occur. Greenhouse gases must then be actively removed from the atmosphere in order to further reduce emissions on balance. A country or organisation achieves net zero emissions or climate neutrality when the amount of emissions removed reaches that of the residual emissions, i.e. when no more greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere on balance. Emissions removed from the atmosphere are also called negative emissions. Various negative emissions technologies exist, which today mainly focus on the removal of CO2 as the most important greenhouse gas from the atmosphere, hence the focus on carbon removal.
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