Researchers from across the UK have received £30m to investigate large scale greenhouse gas removal (GGR).
The project, which will be coordinated by the University of Oxford, will probe innovative ways of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Unlike techniques to reduce emissions at the source, GGR aims to capture and remove CO2 and other greenhouse gases that are already in the air.
Encompassing a dozen universities and with funding secured for nearly five years, this is the UK’s largest-ever research programme in place to understand and scale up greenhouse gas removal techniques.
The Oxford-led consortium named CO2RE has been chosen as the Directorate Hub to coordinate the national programme.
The CO2RE Hub will have a strong research function and will also liaise with the demonstrators, business, policymakers and the public to evaluate a variety of approaches to removal.
Professor Cameron Hepburn, who will be leading the multi-disciplinary Oxford Hub said: ‘Greenhouse gas removal is essential to achieve net-zero carbon emissions and stabilise the climate. Alongside the need for much faster emissions reductions now, we also need to start pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere.
‘Greenhouse gas removal is not only essential, but it also has the potential to become big business. As we rebuild societies and economies following Covid-19, we have an opportunity to orient ourselves towards the green jobs and industries of the future. I’m delighted that UKRI is supporting such a strategic programme.’
Executive director of Oxford Net Zero, Dr Steve Smith added: ‘Here in the UK, the Climate Change Committee predicts that reaching net-zero by 2050 will require us to double the rate of carbon removal by natural landscapes and to scale up industrial removals to the size of current emissions from electricity. Many questions of science, engineering, economics, governance and public engagement are still to be answered.
‘We intend to tackle these, bringing people together from a range of disciplines and backgrounds, so that GGR contributes to ambitious, effective and sustainable climate action.’
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