The IPPC special report in 2018 recognised that to achieve Net Zero targets and limit global warming to 1.5oC, without catastrophic social and economic changes (to keep the global population fed and economic stability), that carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) is required if fossil fuels are to be continued to be used. Carbon can be processed and utilised e.g. in manufacturing, or stored underground in geological formations. For this CO2 must be captured from flue gas emitted by burning fossil fuels for move energy or generating electricity and emissions from metal refining, cement, hydrogen and petrochemical manufacture.
In addition in order to compensate for hard to eliminate GHG emissions like those from agriculture additional CO2 must be removed from the atmosphere and stored. This can be achieved by direct air capture of by using biomass as a fuel and capturing the emissions in a process known as Bioenergy CCS. We can also remove additional carbon from the atmosphere and store it biologically and biochemically in trees and vegetation, soils, peat bogs and ocean fora. These techniques to achieve negative emissions (NETS) are known as greenhouse gas removal (GGR)
GGR and CCUS are linked to natural capital including soils, bedrock geology and bio-biodiversity in combination with engineering skills and technology is critical to global NetZero targets. In addition many low carbon renewable energy technologies use a large land area and this has a significant impact on natural capital and land use emissions.
- Better understanding how CO2 will interact with and move through the sub-surface.
- Integration and understanding of the distribution of natural capital resources with existing infrastructure to inform economic and carbon life cycle analysis models.
- Impact of renewable generation infrastructure on natural capital and competition for land use.
- BECCS feedstock production and afforestation for GGR
- Capture technologies and energy and GHG cost