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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

International declaration denounces ICAO offset plan

Aviation is one of only two sectors worldwide with no existing United Nations’ (UN) targets to reduce emissions. The UN International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has put forward a proposal to deal with climate change which foresees emissions increasing by between 300-700 per cent by 2050.
 
As the ICAO Assembly gathers to consider the proposal, 90 organisations stand together to denounce the plans in their current form as they undermine our ability to limit warming to the agreed UN aim of well below 2° Celsius, aiming for 1.5° Celsius.
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PDF iconFinal_September.pdf515.24 KB

Fern reaction to Commission's proposal for LULUCF regulation

Commission’s forest proposal weakens EU Paris climate commitment

The European Union’s fight against climate change has been undermined by new proposals for tackling emissions from land and forests. The proposals outlined today by the European Commission for integrating emissions from land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) into its climate and energy package, will allow Member States to emit more, bringing the EU’s headline ‘at least 40 per cent’ reduction target down to less than 39 per cent, when all loopholes are accounted for.

LULUCF an introduction

Have you heard of LULUCF? Do you know what it means? Watch this clear and informative video to understand what Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry is about. this video explains why forests can not be used as an excuse to avoid reducing emissions from agriculture, transports and buildings.

LULUCF and Starting Point in the non-ETS sectors

This letter from eleven NGOs urges the European Commission to ensure that the final decision on the effort sharing decision is not watered down, but instead that ambition is increased. The letter makes two recommendations:

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