Technology could remove all excess CO2 by 2050
Humanity has the technology to permanently sequester all excess carbon dioxide by midway through this century, according to a report from the Foundation for Climate Restoration.
The report states that there are sufficient basalt rock deposits on every continent to store far more than the trillions of CO2 produced by human-driven climate change. Theoretically, enough carbon-removal machines could be built to restore the climate back to the way it was a century ago by 2050, with no major technological breakthroughs needed.
“New technologies may emerge that allow us to achieve the goal faster and more easily, but we don’t need to wait. We can’t afford to wait,” the report states.
“Similar to the ambitious goals of eradicating smallpox, and flying to the moon and back safely, the goal of climate restoration is ambitious, time-bound, specific, and measurable.”
The researchers said that deep-underground sequestration of all excess CO2 by 2050 would involve annual spending of $3trn for 30 years – by way of comparison, global military funding totals $1.9trn a year. However, governments are not budgeting sufficiently for carbon capture, and most climate advocacy groups are not asking for it, according to the report.
It gives examples of innovative companies that are already injecting carbon deep underground, with one even turning CO2 into limestone that can be used for building.
“We still need to shift from fossil fuels to clean energy. We still need to adapt to rising sea-levels and an overheated planet,” the report states. “Climate restoration is not a substitute for mitigation or adaptation, but a timely and much-needed addition to them.”