A team of scientists together with climate and policy experts from leading international organizations in 11 countries, grouped under the new Horizon 2020 project NEGEM, will quantify and assess the feasibility and the realistic potential of carbon dioxide removal, as a supplementary strategy to emission mitigation.
The European Green Deal has set the goal for Europe as an economy and a society to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and the Commission’s subsequent proposal for the first European Climate Law aims to introduce legally binding targets and ensure that all EU policies contribute and move toward this goal.
Achieving climate neutrality will require the right combination of emission cuts, investments in clean technologies and protection of the natural environment. Although reducing GHG emissions will remain the major policy priority, global long-term scenarios indicate that emission cuts alone may not be sufficient to achieve the climate targets as laid out by the Paris Agreement. Most scenarios compatible with the 1.5°C global warming target foresee the need for CO2 removal from the atmosphere during the 21st century.
NEGEM will study Negative Emission Technologies and Practices (NETPs), a portfolio of mechanisms to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and to permanently store it on land, underground, or in the ocean.
The project will evaluate the real-word potential of deploying NETPs responsibly at scale, based on crosscutting and integrated analyses of technical, environmental, social and economic aspects to provide an informed assessment of their impact, acceptability and feasibility within planetary boundaries.
The outcome of this assessment will then be used to outline concrete pathways that include the deployment of NETPs under specific conditions and with appropriate governance structures, which can contribute to achieving climate neutrality, as laid out in the Paris Agreement and within the context of key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).