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The six imperatives for scaling high-quality carbon dioxide removals

The six imperatives for scaling high-quality carbon dioxide removals

South Pole’s latest discussion paper – developed together with expert contributors from a selection of stakeholders from academia, civil society, private sector, and standard setters – outlines the six imperatives for scaling high-quality carbon removal systems.

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The promise of carbon removals in reaching global climate goals is significant, but the requirements for high-quality removals are steep – and heavily debated.

Carbon removal should be treated as a third pillar of climate action, complementing emission reductions, compensation, and climate adaptation efforts. The world's leading climate scientists have confirmed that carbon removals are necessary in helping us mitigate the effects of climate change in the short term, but also in neutralising residual emissions to reach net zero, and realising net negative emissions thereafter.

However, the building blocks for a global approach to scaling high-quality carbon removal systems are still lacking. This is why the global community should focus on six imperatives that can help advance the development of high-quality carbon removals.

The six imperatives for scaling high-quality carbon dioxide removals
South Pole Discussion Paper
  • Takeaway #1: Carbon removal should be treated as a third pillar of climate action, complementing emission reductions and climate adaptation.
  • Takeaway #2: Carbon removals will mitigate climate change in the short term, neutralise the residual emissions in order to reach net zero, and help realise net negative emissions thereafter.
  • Takeaway #3: There are six key areas we must focus on to develop a global approach to scaling high-quality carbon removal systems

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Designing a toolbox to scale up quality removals

There can be no net zero without carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the atmosphere. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on climate mitigation outlines the importance of deploying CDRs in order to reach net zero emissions by mid-century. Lowering overall emissions in the near term and eventually reaching net negative emissions in the long term is CDR's north star.

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