14 November, 2016

Why negative CO2 emission technologies should not be classified as geoengineering

It is misleading to conflate negative emissions technologies that remove CO2 from theatmosphere with proposed geoengineering techniques, such as Solar Radiation Management (SRM), as they are fundamentally different.

This conflation downplays the very high risks of geoengineering techniques and disregards viable energy system mitigation options. Geoengineering techniques such as SRM are not a solution to the climate problem.

Negative emissions technologies such as Biomass Energy Carbon Capture and Storage systems (BECCS) could, in principle, be an integral part of the energy-system and will yield net CO2 removal if deployed, as opposed to CO2 emissions by fossil-fuel combustion. Negative CO2 emissions via BECCS can no more be described as geoengineering than the burning of fossil fuels can.