Carbon Removal

What is Climate Restoration?

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95%

of CO2 in our atmosphere is legacy from the start of the Industrial Revolution.*

1.5°C

warmer than pre-industrial temperatures is the warming limit accepted for climate restoration.**

1 Trillion Tons

Of CO2 must be sequestered by 2050 to restore our climate and avoid exceeding warming limits.***

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Why Carbon Removal?

Net-zero strategies are important for ensuring we do not add more carbon to earth’s compromised atmosphere. But to restore the climate, we must remove the excess carbon that already exists in the atmosphere. This means removing legacy carbon and returning atmospheric CO2 to its pre-industrial level.

Carbon removal is not a substitute for mitigation (preventing or reducing greenhouse-gas emissions) or adaptation (preventing or reducing damage from global warming) – but a timely and much-needed complement to them. Removing accumulated carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in solid forms will help climate activists and influential businesses alike to meet their long-sought environmental goals.

Criteria for Responsible Solutions

The Partnership proposes three criteria for prioritizing development and deployment of responsible carbon removal solutions

Permanent

Solution must securely keep CO2 out of circulation for at least a century.

Scaleable

Solution must be able to remove and store at least 25 GT of CO2 per year within a decade.

Financeable

Solution is either already funded or readily mobilized.

Natural and Technological Solutions

Carbon-negative Building Materials

Manufacturers can combine CO2 with calcium to create synthetic limestone that is carbon-negative. This advanced limestone can replace quarried rock traditionally used for aggregate–a trillion-dollar market. By 2030, substituting synthetic limestone for quarried aggregate could pull 50 GT of CO2 per year from the atmosphere.

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Soil Carbon Sequestration

Agricultural practices and global food systems contribute 15%-30% of total CO2 emissions. Through regenerative farming practices, soils can sequester carbon emissions. However, the permanence of soil carbon sequestration depends on a number of factors, including continuation of regenerative practices over decades. Start-ups like Indigo Agriculture are tackling this issue by launching a global initiative to capture 1 trillion metric tons of carbon from farmland through a marketplace that incentivizes farmers to implement regenerative farming practices.

Direct Air Capture (DAC)

DAC is the process of chemically scrubbing carbon dioxide directly from the air. This technology has generally been constrained by the cost of capture and ability to harvest at scale. However, new investments in R&D and projects such as Mechanical Trees at Arizona State University are now being deployed commercially, bringing the cost of carbon capture below $100 per metric ton.

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Ocean and fisheries restoration

Ocean restoration projects, such as marine permaculture arrays, are financeable and scalable. Existing systems such as mangrove forests, kelp forests, and plankton already absorb and trap CO2. But these natural systems cannot keep up with the excess production of CO2. Man-made solutions such as kelp farms and plankton fertilization can accelerate the process and revitalize ocean systems.

Footnotes:

*Parnell, R., Ceo, Restoration, F., Says:, A., Says:, J., Says:, G., . . . Dichter, S. (2020, June 02). Climate Restoration: The key to solving climate change by addressing the 95% of CO2 that not enough people are talking about. Retrieved January 07, 2021, from here.

**Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C approved by governments. (n.d.). Retrieved January 07, 2021, from here.

***Conniff, R. (2019, January 01). Scrubbing Carbon from the Sky  . Retrieved January 07, 2021, from here.