Priorities in removing carbon dioxide from the air

Our planet, unfortunately, does not work like a casino that offers a no-deposit bonus for registration. If we want to receive something, we usually leave traces. Right now, the most dangerous is the carbon footprint that caused global warming. Scientists around the world are already wondering how to fight carbon dioxide. Here are the priorities they believe will be the most important in removing carbon dioxide from the air.

Necessary actions

To achieve the net zero emissions we committed to by 2050, our domestic and global emissions must be reduced much faster and deeper than the world has been able to do so far. We already know today that it will take us some time to deliver and replace clean alternatives. We must therefore find and accelerate ways of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in order to stabilize the climate. For each country, there is a question of removing millions of tons of CO₂ annually, which is a very large and hard-to-achieve value. However, the introduction of new technologies involves huge expenses as well as host and social changes. In Poland, many people support themselves or their entire families from working in mines, steel mills and power plants.

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We can remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere now or in the near future in several different ways. Plants, minerals or chemicals are involved here, as well as entrapment of carbon dioxide in the biosphere, oceans, underground and even in long-life products. Of course, such methods differ from each other in terms of cost and readiness. After all, we have trees from the beginning that are a ready-made way to absorb carbon with many additional benefits. However, as a result of fires, greenhouse gases return to the atmosphere. Underground CO₂ storage, in turn, provides a more stable method and can store 100 times more CO₂, but such CO₂ injection methods are expensive and at an early stage of development. So what are the priorities?

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The most important activities

Today, first of all, each country has to decide how much and at what time it wants to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, what specific methods it will prefer, and whether 2050 will be the end point or only one of the stages. Thanks to specific decisions, we will know exactly which sources of greenhouse gas emissions should be completely eliminated. In the case of Poland, it will be a radical reduction in the extraction and use of hard coal and lignite.

It is widely known that large-scale carbon dioxide removal will have a major impact on community and environmental life. Entire landscapes and livelihoods will change. All or at least most of the changes introduced must simultaneously provide alternatives, offer different benefits to the local population.Only by finding solutions for different communities will all parties be satisfied.

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Today, many newly introduced solutions can cost up to several thousand zlotys per ton of CO₂ removed. This is definitely too much for countries like Poland. Therefore, it is good to start with simple and small matters, such as energy-efficient lighting, much better facade and thermal insulation of buildings, more photovoltaics, wind energy or using electric cars.

Government-supported actions to encourage the removal and storage of carbon dioxide will also be necessary. In the case of Poland, these may be subsidies or tax breaks for companies changing production systems, opting for green energy, subsidies for farmers, housing cooperatives for thermal modernization. In addition, it will be important in all of this effective monitoring, reporting and verification of activities, which will allow us to be up to date with the activities carried out.

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