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For the first time, scientists calculate how much CO₂ is being removed from the atmosphere

In a study led by University of Oxford, scientists have calculated for the first time that every year, about two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO₂) are being removed from the atmosphere.

As a reference, the authos estimate the current CO₂ emissions per year from fossil fuels and cement to be around .......... of 36.6 GtCO2.

This means that successful removal would represent slightly over 5% of what is being emitted.

About 99.9% of this CO₂ removal occurs through “conventional means”, such as restoring previously deforested ones, creating new forests, better managing soils and optimize wood usage and products. Basically forests.

On the other hand, representing the remaing 0.1%, we have Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR), that involves capturing CO₂ from the atmosphere and storing it for decades to millennia on land, in the ocean, in geological formations or in products. Basically carbon capture and storage.

Specially in the developed countries - or countries without much land to restore forests - innovation in CDR has expanded substantially, exemplified by R&D, in patents and capacity investment. And CDR has been subject of increasing public attention.

Last December, the US Department of Energy committed $3.7 billion (€3.4bn) to finance CO₂ removal projects. The European Union, meanwhile, aims to capture five million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030. And in 2022 we also had news about the "OPEC for rainforests", congregating Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"We are still at the very start", adds co-author Jan Minx, of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Germany.

Click at the image below to access the portal were you can read other "Key messages" and donwload the 1st. edition of the report "The State of Carbon Dioxide Removal" (graphs and schemes are great !). CDR data is also available for download.

Report was a collaboration led by Stephen M Smith (University of Oxford), Oliver Geden (German Institute for International and Security Affairs, SWP), Jan C Minx (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, MCC) and Gregory F Nemet (University of Wisconsin-Madison).


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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