New UN climate report delivers the price of carbon capture.
This month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from the UN has finalized a report on climate change mitigation and adaptation. And the message is clear: We are still in time to turn the tide, and there are now explicit numbers, i.e. the actual monetary cost of carbon capture. Removing a tonne of CO2 (or equivalent) from the air has a price that ranges between 20 and 100 dollars, depending on the technique that varies from planting trees to high-tech capture projects. This report is the third part of a huge study on climate change (the IPCC Sixth Assessment Cycle). It is the most important study on climate change to date. It has 3675 pages, written by 278 authors who researched thousands of scientific studies.
The first two parts of the IPCC climate report revealed that climate change is worse and its impact will hit sooner than previously thought. Through the third part shines a (tiny) shimmer of hope, because it is the first time that a price has been put on reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. With this cost of CO2 in mind, policymakers can now better assign sums of money to the many sustainable development projects and policies. It is highlighted once more that it is better to be safe than sorry. Although the cost may seem high, the energy transition will cost much less than dealing with the consequences later (which will be the cost of dealing with disasters, the collapse of welfare societies, and war). At those prices for carbon capture and mitigation, total emissions could be halved by 2030 compared to 2019 and global warming could be limited to 1.5°.
Where should the money go? To green energy production, reduced emissions through more efficient industry, agriculture, transport, food consumption, waste management, sustainable cities, nature projects and CO2 capture projects. Per individual it also helps to eat less meat and make other adjustments in our way of life. Acting quickly and efficiently will also increase our chances of maintaining prosperity and help other countries to meet climate targets and fight poverty.
Long story short: "it can be done, but we have to act now".
IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change, https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/
Michaël Torfs, 4 april 2022, VRT.be, 20 tot 100 dollar per ton CO2: zoveel kost het volgens VN om uitstoot tegen 2030 wereldwijd te halveren. https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/04/03/ipcc-rapport-mitigatie-voor-het-eerst-prijs-geplakt-op-vermind/
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