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Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)

Why is it in the news?

  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has issued a crucial call for nations to surpass their current commitments outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement. This call to action, which comes in advance of the 2023 Climate Summit, underscores the necessity of exceeding these commitments to cap global warming at 1.5°C without significant overshoot within this century.
  • The UNEP’s Emissions Gap report underscores the critical importance of avoiding delays in greenhouse gas emissions reduction, as such delays would lead to a heightened dependence on carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies to combat climate change in the future.
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About Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)

  • Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) involves deliberate human actions to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to combat climate change.
  • CDR methods include traditional practices like afforestation, advanced technologies like Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS), and other approaches.


Different CDR methods include:

  • Afforestation/Reforestation: Converting degraded lands into forests, sequestering carbon, costing around $240 per tonne of CO2.
  • Biochar: Produced through controlled pyrolysis of organic waste, stable carbon storage, costs $10-345 per tonne of CO2.
  • BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage): Combustion of biomass with CO2 capture, immediate and permanent CDR, costs $50-200 per tonne of CO2.
  • DACCS (Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage): Extracts CO2 from the atmosphere, most expensive CDR method, costing $100-300 per tonne of CO2.
  • Enhanced Rock Weathering: Pulverizing silicate rocks to accelerate weathering, costs $50-200 per tonne of CO2.
  • Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement: Adding alkaline substances to seawater to enhance carbon sink, costs $40-260 per tonne of CO2.



  • CDR methods require appropriate governance and policies due to potential adverse side effects, and they need integration into climate policy frameworks with reliable measurement, reporting, and verification of carbon flows according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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