Science 3 min read

Current CO2 Capture and Storage Might Meet Climate Goals

studiovin / Shutterstock.com

studiovin / Shutterstock.com

A recent study from the Imperial College London revealed that the world can now capture and store enough carbon dioxide to meet climate goals.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘s (IPCC) recommended various ways to keep global warming below 2°C.

One key component in this report is the capture and storage of carbon dioxide. Countries must use Carbon capture and storage (CCS) alongside other interventions such as energy efficiency and renewable energy.

At the time, the IPCC created about 1,200 technology scenarios using models. In each of these situations, climate change goals were met using a blend of these interventions, most of which require CCS.

An analysis from the Imperial College London suggests that 2,700 gigatonnes of CO2 would be sufficient to meet the IPCC’s climate target. That’s far less than the 10,000 Gt of CO2 storage space that’s available globally.

The researchers also noted that the current growth rate in the installed capacity of CCS is on track to meet some of the goals in the IPCC report. However, commercial and research efforts must focus on maintaining this growth.

In a statement, lead researcher of the study from the Imperial’s Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Dr. Christopher Zahasky said:

“We found that even the most ambitious scenarios are unlikely to need more than 2,700 Gt of CO2 storage resource globally, much less than the 10,000 Gt of storage resource that leading reports suggest is possible.”

The researchers published their findings in the journal Energy & Environmental Science. 

Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage and IPCC’s Climate Goals

Carbon capture and storage involves trapping CO2 at its emission source and storing it underground. That way, we can effectively prevent it from entering the atmosphere.

CCS can help the world reach the global warming goals that IPCC set when combined with other mitigation strategies. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy.

Researchers have never been able to quantify the amount of space required to meet this goal — until now. As a result, we didn’t know if these targets were achievable. Now we do.

For the study, the researchers combined data on the past 20 hears of growth in CCS. It includes information on historical rates of growth in energy infrastructure as well as models used to monitor the depletion of natural resources.

Zahasky and his team discovered that there had been an 8.6 percent growth in CCS capacity over the last 20 years. In other words, the world is now on a trajectory to meet various climate mitigation scenarios that involve carbon capture and storage.

Our study shows that if climate change targets are not met by 2100, it won’t be for lack of carbon capture and storage space,” says Zahasky.

Read More: Hydrofluorocarbon Emissions Growing at Record Values

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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