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Narrative 1: The science is clear.

We need carbon removals as well as deep emissions reductions and adaptation to tackle global warming.

Narrative Fundamentals

  • There is no net zero without both carbon reductions and removals. They go hand-in-hand.

  • Decarbonization can (and should) get us most of the way to zero – but we need removals for the emissions we’re not able to eliminate.

  • Scientists agree that without carbon removal, global warming will exceed 1.5C, causing natural disasters, droughts, famine, and human suffering.

  • We need to decarbonize as fast as possible and use removals to have any hope of avoiding climate catastrophe. It’s no longer a choice.

Negative Headwinds vs Enabling Narratives

It’s not possible: “Carbon removal is just hype.”

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It’s reality: It’s already happening. The technology is nascent, but there are lots of promising projects already in place.”

 

It’s hubristic: We’ve engineered ourselves into this problem, can we really engineer ourselves out of it? Shouldn’t we focus on degrowth and healing nature?

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It’s the only way: It took a massive effort to release tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The only way to clean it up is with an equally massive effort.

We have no choice: “We need to clean up carbon pollution for our kids’ future.”

 

It’s scary: “Carbon removal is a type of geoengineering and it’s risky!”

We’re reversing climate change: Unlike geoengineering, carbon removal is cleaning up our own mess. We pumped it in, now we need to take it out.

 

It’ll never be effective: Industrial carbon removal is wildly expensive, far too energy and resource-intensive and removes pathetically small amounts of carbon.”

We’re good at developing technology!: Solar used to be unimaginably expensive too – but after years of concerted efforts we’ve brought costs way down, and it’s now one of the key tools in the fight against climate change

We need all tools: We need lots of “shots on goal”, which means trying everything – even the stuff that’s not immediately ready to scale.

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