GGR Directorate CO2RE Hub

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Smith School of Enterprise and the Env

Abstract

Observed, Strategic, sustained action is now needed to avoid further negative consequences of climate change and to build a greener, cleaner and fairer future. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the rise in global temperature is largely driven by total carbon dioxide emissions over time. In order to avoid further global warming, international Governments agreed to work towards a balance between emissions and greenhouse gas removal (GGR), known 'net zero', in the Paris Agreement. In June 2019 the UK committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, making it the first G7 country to legislate such a target.

Transitioning to net zero means that we will have to remove as many emissions as we produce. Much of the focus of climate action to date has been on reducing emissions, for example through renewable power and electric vehicles. However, pathways to net zero require not just cutting fossil fuel emissions but also turning the land into a net carbon sink and scaling up new technologies to remove and store greenhouse gases. This will require new legislation to pave the way for investment in new infrastructure and businesses expected to be worth billions of pounds a year within 30 years.

This challenge has far-reaching implications for technology, business models, social practices and policy. GGR has been much less studied, developed and incentivised than actions to cut emissions. The proposed CO2RE Hub brings together leading UK academics with a wide range of expertise to co-ordinate a suite of GGR demonstration projects to accelerate progress in this area. In particular the Hub will study how we can (1) reduce technology costs so that GGR becomes economically viable; (2) ensure industry adopts the concept of net zero in a way that will maintain and create jobs; (3) put in place sensible policy incentives; (4) make sure there is social license for GGR (unlike fracking or nuclear); (5) set up regulatory oversight of environmental sustainability and risks of GGR; (6) understand what is required to achieve GGR at large scale and (7) guarantee there are the skills and knowledge required for all this to happen.

Building on extensive existing links to stakeholders in business, Government and NGOs, the Hub will work extensively with everyone involved in regulating and delivering GGR to ensure our research provides solutions to strategic priorities. We will also encourage the teams working on demonstrator technologies to think responsibly about the risks, benefits and public perceptions of their work and consider the full environmental, social and economic implications of implementation from the outset.

CO2RE will seek to bring the GGR community in the UK as a whole closer together, functioning as a gateway to UK inter-disciplinary research expertise on GGR. We will inform, and stay informed, about the latest developments nationally and internationally, and reach out to engage the wider public. In doing so we will be able to respond to a rapidly evolving landscape recognising that technical and social change are not separate, but happen together. To accelerate and achieve meaningful change, we will be guided by consultation with key decision-makers and the general public, and set up a £1m flexible fund to respond to priorities that emerge with the help of the wider UK academic community. Ultimately we will help the UK and the world understand how GGR can be scaled up responsibly as part of climate action to meet the ambition of net zero.

Organisations

 
Description GGR-D programme included in UK government's Net Zero Strategy
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/net-zero-strategy
 
Description contribution to call for evidence
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/40432/pdf/
 
Description invitation to give oral evidence to parliamentary committee
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/3dc46d88-fb7c-4404-b203-b56daec51725
 
Description CO2RE Hub Oxford in-person workshop - project partners, Hub and Demos 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 14 Oct in person workshop to introduce project partners to CO2RE, obtain input/stakeholder perspectives on workpackages (world café), Q&A, networking.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://co2re.org/events/co2re-hub-stakeholder-workshop-co-creating-solutions-led-ggr-research/
 
Description CO2RE Hub Stakeholder Workshop 1 - Investors and legal experts 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 16 Sep 2021 online workshop to introduce project partners to CO2RE and obtain feedback on evaluation framework.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description CO2RE Hub Stakeholder Workshop 2 - Regulators and policymakers with civil society organisations 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 28 Sep 2021 workshop to introduce project partners to CO2RE and obtain feedback on evaluation framework.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description CO2RE Hub Stakeholder Workshop 4 - Hard to decarbonise sectors and consumers of technical offsets 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 29 Sep 2021 workshop to introduce project partners to CO2RE and obtain feedback on evaluation framework.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Peers for the Planet briefing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Mac Dowell, Butnar and Smith provided a briefing on carbon removal to the cross party parliamentary group Peers for the Planet
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Portobello Transition Town (PEDAL) AGM 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Paul Rouse Paul presented on COP26 outcomes and CO2RE Hub work
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://www.pedal-porty.org.uk/2022/01/pedal-agm-28th-january-2022/
 
Description Positively Negative event series 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This series of online participatory workshops (x5) mapped the value chains associated with different greenhouse gas removal technologies. It recruited circa 20 people from across industry, business, academia and consultancy and is being used to build strong partnerships for the research hub. The workshops covered bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, biochar, enhanced weathering, afforestation, direct air capture and peatland restoration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
URL https://kumu.io/CRC-maps/dac-value-map
 
Description Steve Smith and Cameron Hepburn publish article in the Conversation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article on 'Climate change: six priorities for pulling carbon out of the air', published 28 May 2021 in the Conversation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://theconversation.com/climate-change-six-priorities-for-pulling-carbon-out-of-the-air-161689
 
Description Steve Smith quoted in ABC News online article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article on "Google cracks down on climate change denial by targeting ads" published 8 October 2021 quotes Steve Smith
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/google-ban-ads-appearing-climate-denial-content-80472979