In the short-term, emitting and then removing carbon from the atmosphere creates greater uncertainty and risk than simply avoiding its release in the first place.
Financing avoidance today is crucial in the transition phase towards net zero emissions because it accelerates global reductions, it serves climate justice, it protects our existing carbon sinks such as forests and with them, biodiversity, and it avoids emissions of very potent GHGs such as methane that have short-term.
In short, reducing emissions and supporting projects that avoid emissions from entering the atmosphere must continue full throttle if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.
In the coming decades, carbon removals will grow in importance as we get closer to both public and private net zero targets. Once we reach net zero, all new residual emissions must be neutralized with carbon removals.
Companies have started investing in carbon removal technologies today so they can be scaled in the future. However, this must not delay or impact urgent efforts to decarbonise nor the systemic changes needed for a future that is socially-just and environmentally sustainable.