The Paris Agreement is a historic global accord that aims to combat climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. One of the key provisions of the agreement is the goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of this century.
However, achieving net-zero emissions is a daunting task, given the current scale and pace of emissions from various sources such as transportation, deforestation, and industrial processes. Negative emissions technologies (NETs) have emerged as a potential solution to bridge the gap between current emissions levels and the goal of net-zero.
Negative emissions refer to the process of removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere by either capturing and storing it or by naturally sequestering it through activities such as reforestation. NETs can help to offset the remaining emissions that cannot be eliminated through mitigation measures alone.
While the concept of negative emissions sounds promising, some experts argue that it could create a false sense of security. For instance, some NETs such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology are still in the early stages of development and are not yet cost-competitive with other forms of clean energy. In addition, some forms of NETs such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) have raised concerns about their environmental sustainability and potential negative impacts on food production and land use.
To address these concerns, the Paris Agreement includes provisions for ensuring the integrity and environmental sustainability of NETs. Article 6 of the agreement establishes a framework for cooperation between countries to promote the use of market and non-market mechanisms to achieve emissions reductions. This framework includes provisions for ensuring the environmental integrity of any offsetting activities, including those related to negative emissions.
In summary, negative emissions technologies represent a potential solution for achieving the goal of net-zero emissions under the Paris Agreement. However, their effectiveness and sustainability must be carefully evaluated to ensure that they do not create unintended negative consequences. The provisions of the Paris Agreement provide a framework for promoting and regulating the use of NETs in a manner that is consistent with the goals of environmental sustainability and emissions reduction.Czytaj więcej