Saturday, July 20, 2024
Cutting emissions with carbon removal

Cutting emissions with carbon removal

Direct Air Capture (DAC) involves extracting carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and storing it deep underground. This not only offers a virtually unlimited feedstock—the atmosphere itself—but also provides a reliable method of carbon sequestration.

DAC’s ability to combine captured carbon with green hydrogen to produce power-to-liquid sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) further enhances its future potential. However, DAC remains an expensive option until technological advancements bring down costs.

“Storing the carbon underground is a proven method and offers an unequivocal emissions removal,” Anna Stukas, VP Strategic Partnership at 1PointFive, noted. “This process ensures that captured carbon does not re-enter the atmosphere, thereby providing a concrete solution for long-term carbon reduction.”

Measurable offsets and regulatory recognition

DAC’s capability to generate measurable offsets is crucial for the aviation sector, particularly under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

These measurable offsets are essential for airlines to meet regulatory requirements and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

However, DAC offsets are not yet recognised under the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), though efforts to change this are ongoing.

The path to 2050

Industry estimates suggest that around 500 million tonnes of carbon removal will be necessary by 2050 to meet global climate targets. Airlines are working to lead the charge, investing in advance credit purchases despite the higher costs compared to other carbon offsets. This proactive approach underscores the aviation sector’s recognition of the importance of CDR and its willingness to invest in the technology’s future.

“The ability to provide measurable and recognised offsets makes DAC a valuable tool for airlines,” Lee Beck, Senior Director of Europe and Middle East, Clean Air Task Force, said. “Despite the current high costs, airlines are acting quickly to secure these credits, indicating their commitment to long-term sustainability goals.”

Walsh, in his speech to the summit, stated that “the challenge is to make it work.

“We have SAF, a proven clean alternative to jet fuel. The challenge is to ramp up efficiency with diverse feedstock and production methods.

“We have a common commitment with governments to decarbonise by 2050.

“The challenge is for governments to deliver enabling policies. We have many possible pathways to net zero. The challenge is to promote them all and move forward.” 

 

Picture of Ajinkya Gurav

Ajinkya Gurav

With a passion for aviation, Ajinkya Gurav graduated from De Montford University with a Master’s degree in Air Transport Management. Over the past decade, he has written insightful analysis and captivating coverage around passenger and cargo operations. Gurav joined Air Cargo Week as its Regional Representative in 2024. Got news or comment to share? Contact ajinkya.gurav@aircargoweek.com

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