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What are negative emissions?

Most proposals to limit global temperature rises to well below 2° Celsius rely on ‘negative emissions’ – the removal of carbon from the atmosphere.

This can be done naturally, such as by protecting and restoring degraded forests so they become carbon sinks. Some also claim that it can be done through geo-engineering, for instance by burning bioenergy, capturing the carbon released, and pumping it into underground geological reservoirs. This is known as Bioenergy, Carbon, Capture and Storage (BECCS).

Fern believes there are three main risks in relying on geo-engineering projects:

  1. They are used as an excuse to keep burning fossil fuels despite unproven benefits
  2. They will have unacceptable ecological and social impacts if used at an industrial scale
  3. They cannot ensure stored carbon is not released through human or natural forces, including climate change

For more information see the outcomes of a meeting Fern hosted on negative emissions.

Most recent publications

Mount Tamalpais Declaration

NGO statement of concern regarding role of tree plantations in the CDM
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Forestwatch Issue 43

  • Commission calls for aid shake up
  • Sami people tired of waiting for Swedish support
  • Development policy
  • Shared concerns of US and EU NGOs
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Forestwatch Issue 42

  • Trading carbon: a new value for forests
  • New fears for forests from agricultural sector
  • CSD: update on 8th session - the CSD and trade
  • Certification rivalry
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HTML iconSpecial Report on IFF419.79 KB

Forestwatch Issue 40

  • What will be the follow-up to IFF?
  • Forest budget line nearly adopted
  • Carbon fund created
  • WWF scores countries
  • Action on biodiversity
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