Summary of report:
Reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions will require rapidly scaling up new measures to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. But greenhouse gas removal (GGR) methods like bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) present risks to the wider environment and the availability of carbon offset credits can discourage businesses from reducing their emissions.
In this report we explore the challenges associated with scaling up the GGR industry and the new governance arrangements needed to ensure it is done sustainably. The report argues that the government must take a more active role in shaping and regulating the growth of the sector. Amongst other requirements, new frameworks need to set out which emissions are genuinely residual and can be offset, and which simply need to be reduced or avoided. Without this there is a high chance net zero will be missed.
The report proposes a new government Office for Carbon Removal to oversee the growth of GGRs. With this new governance, the UK will be well placed to be a global leader in this new industry.