Most proposals to meet the Paris Agreement aspiration of limiting global temperature rises to below 1.5° Celsius rely on the removal of carbon from the atmosphere - ‘negative emissions’.
This is NOT carbon trading as it needs to be done AS WELL AS, not instead of emissions cuts in other sectors.
The only scientifically proven way to do this is to protect and restore degraded forests so they become carbon sinks.
Some claim that in the future it could 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:
- They are used as an excuse to keep burning fossil fuels despite unproven benefits
- They will have unacceptable ecological and social impacts if used at an industrial scale
- They cannot ensure stored carbon is not released through human or natural forces, including climate change.
Fern is working with ecologists, climate scientists and civil society to ensure restoration projects involve affected communities, take biodiversity into account and are based on sound climate science.
Negative emissions related resources
EU Forests of Hope
How community restoration and management of forests can help meet climate goals
Forest management and climate change: a new approach to the french mitigation strategy
This new report challenges whether France’s long-term forest strategy will fight climate change. The report shows the flaws in the French plan to produce heat and electricity from burning wood and offers an alternative vision where forests can play their role in fighting the climate breakdown, become more resilient to future shocks and still providing for timber needs.
Green Deal could be a springboard for ambitious forest action
Brussels, December 11 – The European Commission’s proposed Green Deal contains two standalone forest initiatives, indicating that EU politicians understand how close forests are to Europeans’ hearts. But poor implementation could...
Europe’s National Energy and Climate Plans to 2030: Are they fit for purpose?
The National Energy and Climate Plans, due to be published by the end of 2019 will determine whether and how we limit global heating to 1.5 degrees.
Fern has conducted an analysis of the plans of five Member States – Sweden,...