World 'to miss climate targets' if it does not introduce large-scale negative emission programmes

The action being taken globally to deliver negative emissions technologies is falling far short of what is required to address the climate crisis, a study has claimed.

The newly formed Coalition for Negative Emissions, comprised of some of the UK's leading firms - including North Yorkshire s Drax - states that to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as agreed in Paris in 2015, efforts to reduce emissions must be combined with annual negative emissions of up to 1.2Gt by 2025 – equivalent to more than three times the UK’s annual CO2 emissions.

The coalition research, conducted with knowledge and analytical support from McKinsey & Company, shows negative emissions solutions including bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), direct air capture and storage (DACS), and natural climate solutions (NCS) such afforestation, are all proven and can each provide at least 1Gt of sustainable negative emissions. In addition to achieving global climate targets, deploying these solutions at scale could create up to 10 million new jobs worldwide.

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However, based on the current pipeline of projects, the Coalition research finds the level of negative emissions required by 2025 in the IPCC’s 1.5°C pathway will likely be missed by 80 per cent. Investment in negative emissions solutions must also increase by 30 times current levels to meet the needs of the 1.5°C pathway. If there is no action until 2030, around 8Gt of negative emissions debt will have been built-up, increasing the costs and disruption to society required to keep global warming within 1.5°C.

Drax is among the organisation's forming the Coalition.
Drax is among the organisation's forming the Coalition.

In response, over 20 leading companies, NGOs, investors and trade associations have come together to form the Coalition for Negative Emissions. The Coalition will provide policymakers, NGOs and other key stakeholders with a much-needed platform to advance global action to rapidly deploy negative emissions solutions.

Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax Group, a founding member of the Coalition for Negative Emissions, said: “Negative emissions solutions are proven and ready to go but in order to play a critical role in tackling the climate crisis, they must be deployed much faster than current projections.

"The UK, alongside international partners, has a once in a generation opportunity to lead the world in deploying negative emissions solutions – tackling climate change and saving economies billions while creating millions of new green jobs around the world.”

Drax is currently trying to launch a BECCS project in the North of England which it believes will safeguard 55,000 jobs and create 50,000 more.

Warnings on climate change.

The project took a major step forward in June with the signing of a deal with Mitsubishi to provide their technology for the project.

Stuart Roberts, NFU Deputy President, a founding member of the Coalition for Negative Emissions, said: "The Coalition represents a critically important opportunity for agriculture and the land-based sector to demonstrate our capability to capture carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, store carbon in farmland and couple bioenergy to carbon capture and storage technology – key elements of the NFU's net zero ambition.

“We look forward to working with the Coalition to develop a strong domestic bioenergy supply chain, which is essential to realise GHG removals through the bioeconomy, and in our call for government support through the Environmental Land Management scheme to incentivise on-farm carbon storage in vegetation and soils.”

Tony Danker, Director General of the CBI, a founding member of Coalition for Negative Emissions, said: “Tackling the climate crisis is a global challenge, demanding cross border cooperation between governments and businesses on an unprecedented scale. Negative emissions technologies are going to play a major role in helping the world decarbonise and businesses are advancing their development at pace. But unless urgent action is taken to support their deployment, we’re on track to miss vital climate targets. We need to raise global ambitions and make this the boldest year of net-zero action yet.”

Yorkshire has been tipped for a strong green energy future.