Asset owners should not overemphasize negative emissions when supporting 1.5 ° C trajectories, but the importance of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) in tackling unreduced emissions “should not be underestimated,” according to a position paper from the UN-convened Net-Zero Alliance of Asset Owners (NZAOA).
Co-authored by John Scott, Head of Sustainability Risk, Zurich Insurance Group, the paper references the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1.5 ° C Global Warming Special Report as illustrating that “without the CDR playing a role, it will be very difficult to achieve the 1.5 ° C target of the Paris Agreement”.
The NZAOA, which launched two years ago this week, said it sees reduction as the top mitigation priority for the next five to 10 years, but also warned that “underinvestment and ‘failure to develop nascent CDR pathways now risked not being available as an important resource in times of large-scale need.’
In the document, the group said it supports CDR approaches in two main categories, nature-based solutions and technology solutions capturing CO.2 emissions from the atmosphere or from biogenic industrial processes such as fermentation.
According to the document, the Alliance considers that one should not rely solely on CDR’s technical solutions as these still had to be developed at the scale required to create efficiency gains and reduce the cost to eliminate enough waste. carbon dioxide, but that “the future development of these technologies must be pursued fiercely.”
The paper indicates that a range of CDR approaches will be required to remove carbon dioxide on a large scale, as each potential approach would have scale limitations, constraints and trade-offs.
“The costs and benefits of each potential CO2 the removal approach, and their different institutional and economic and geographic contexts, will need to be considered by investors, ”the authors wrote.
Referring to the NZAOA goal setting protocol, the position paper states that measuring and reporting generated emissions and emissions removals would allow asset owners to track progress against their goals. zero net “and ensure accountability so that CDR deployment does not deter or diminish larger-scale decarbonization efforts and / or ambition”.
The position paper also addresses carbon credits, which the Alliance considers to be complementary instruments to reduction strategies.
In an announcement regarding the position paper, the NZAOA said the timing for implementing CDR technologies would have a significant impact on the likelihood of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and on “the ability to correct the situation. in the event of non-compliance with these objectives “. .
“Current investments, combined with strong political support for the tightening of a complementary market for carbon credits, will help advance our common goal of an accelerated green transition,” he said.
Günther Thallinger, board member of Allianz SE, one of the 48 members of NZAOA, said the Alliance believes that an ‘incentives + mandate’ approach should be applied to the development of CDR technologies and to the deployment of nature-based solutions.
The full position paper can be downloaded here.