The UK has launched a £8.6m national research programme on how to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. It is thought to be the world’s first research programme dedicated to this topic. The money will fund projects exploring the real-world potential of “negative emissions” technologies (NETs), including soil carbon management, afforestation, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), enhanced weathering and direct capture of methane from the air.
It seems that NETs will “almost certainly be needed” to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, yet there is huge uncertainty over whether it will be possible to deploy them quickly – and at scale – without causing knock-on environmental and social problems. The new research programme is designed to investigate their potential, as well as the political, social and environmental issues surrounding their deployment. It is coordinated by the UK’s government-funded National Environment Research Council (NERC).
More details at Carbon Brief.