Beyond Carbon Neutral
A major new initiative to develop technologies, programs and policies to raise the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere.
Climate change is a defining issue of the 21st Century, and an existential threat to humanity. To address this challenge, we must deploy a diverse set of solutions to minimize or reverse global warming and adapt to its impacts. To complement existing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the University of Michigan Energy Institute is developing an ambitious, creative new initiative called Beyond Carbon Neutral. This multidisciplinary research effort investigates technologies, processes and policies to increase the rate at which carbon is removed from the global carbon cycle.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from fossil fuel use is the largest source of anthropogenic GHG emissions and its buildup in the atmosphere is the largest driver of the radiative forcing that destabilizes the Earth's climate. Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) refers to actions that increase the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and converted into carbon-based materials that can be either sequestered or substituted for fossil carbon. Sometimes called "negative emissions," CDR strategies remove CO2 from the air faster than it is already being removed through natural processes. What distinguishes CDR is that its aim is not merely to achieve carbon neutrality, but rather to greatly increase the rate of negative emissions through mechanisms that go Beyond Carbon Neutral.
The Energy Institute has worked with over 60 faculty to develop more than 50 inventive research proposals investigating different aspects of CDR. These research activities fall into three overlapping areas: the biosphere, technology, and human systems.
For more information about Beyond Carbon Neutral, visit beyondcarbonneutral.org.