On Monday 20 March 2023, the IPCC released the final instalment of the Sixth Assessment Report: The Synthesis Report and accompanying Summary for Policymakers. This report consolidates the key findings from all six reports released since 2015. This includes last year’s Working Group 3 report, which for the first time made clear the non-negotiable role of negative emissions and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) in achieving international climate goals.
The IPCC clarified that carbon removal serves three key roles: 1) achieving net zero faster, alongside rapid emission cuts, 2) balancing very difficult-to-decarbonise emissions at the net zero date, 3) enabling net negative emissions after the net zero date to start chipping away at the carbon already in the atmosphere.
Our experts’ reactions to the IPCC Synthesis Report:
Eli Mitchell-Larson, Chief Science & Advocacy Officer and co-founder, Carbon Gap
“The science is clear: rapid emission cuts must remain at the heart of global efforts to fight climate change, but carbon removal at the gigatonne scale is crucial if we are to deliver a safer climate for people and planet. The IPCC made this clearer than it’s ever been. Removals can help us reach net zero faster, and thereafter give us the option of bringing carbon in the atmosphere back down to safer levels.”
Dr Sylvain Delerce, Science & Advocacy Director, Carbon Gap
“No single carbon removal method can deliver the required volumes of negative emissions. Also, not all forms of carbon removal store carbon equally reliably. This is why we need a portfolio approach with an increasing share of high permanence removals. Transparent certification mechanisms, clear rules on the use of removals and tailored incentives are essential for a responsible and fast deployment of removals.”
Andrea Klaric, Policy Director, Head of European Policy Strategy
“Common rules and standards on accounting, and monitoring, reporting and verification, is the way to ensure that only high-quality carbon removal is credited. With its Carbon Removal Certification Framework, the European Union is showing welcome leadership in addressing the urgent need for CDR, but more needs to be done to strengthen the draft Framework to build a reliable and robust foundation for scaling safe and effective carbon removal in Europe.”