Faced with spiraling concentrations of CO2, insufficient government action, and continued reliance on heavy industry and fossil fuels, carbon removals are and will be an important tool on the path to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Complementary to carbon avoidance technologies, which prevent carbon from being released in the first place, carbon removals are technologies that suck carbon out of the atmosphere. Broadly, they can be split into 2 categories: natural and technological carbon removals with some crossover in between.
|Carbon removal technology examples
Afforestation and Reforestation, Soil Carbon Sequestration
Biochar, Wooden Building Materials
Carbon Capture and Storage, Direct Air Capture
Alongside our existing efforts to scale natural carbon removals, we are working on a range of initiatives and collaborating with other leading organisations, like Verra and Gold Standard, to overcome the challenges to implementing technological carbon removals at scale.
We aim to support both the development of new market mechanisms for voluntary removals and drastically increase the supply of certified carbon removal projects. This involves supporting robust definitions and certification schemes which ensure the removed carbon is permanently stored. We strongly advocate for scientifically backed, results-based solutions in order to unlock crucial private sector finance to get many of the nascent technologies off the ground.
Among these are:
Technological carbon removals that are certified and recognised under robust internationally-approved standards are essential for both the private and public sector to achieve net zero targets.
However, emitting and then removing carbon creates greater uncertainty and risk than simply avoiding its release in the first place. Therefore continuing to reduce emissions and support projects that avoid carbon from entering the atmosphere emissions must continue full throttle. It is vital that carbon removal does not delay or impact mitigation efforts and the systemic changes needed for a future that is socially-just and environmentally sustainable.
South Pole is committed to scaling and accelerating climate action, both in the short and long term.
Get in touch if you want cutting-edge decarbonisation solutions to be part of your climate strategy.