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Carbon Dioxide Removal: Recommendations for biodiversity-friendly implementation in Germany

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it will be necessary to actively remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere to effectively limit global warming to a maximum of 1,5 degrees. To this end, natural carbon sinks (‘nature-based solutions’) or technical measures can be implemented – the latter are also referred to as technologies for negative CO₂ emissions. Both approaches make it possible to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. This approach is also known as ‘Carbon Dioxide Removal’ (CDR).

On behalf of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, the project is developing a sound knowledge base on various CDR options. The focus of the project is on four aspects: 

  1. What knowledge is available on the potential impacts of CDR on biodiversity and (natural) climate protection?
  2. What are the positions of relevant nature conservation stakeholders on CDR? 
  3. What political processes and frameworks currently exist at (inter)national level? 
  4. What possible role can different CDR options play for decarbonisation in Germany?

The transdisciplinary project involves stakeholders from the fields of environmental and biodiversity protection. The researchers conduct a survey and a workshop in which findings are discussed and further developed with stakeholders from politics, science and civil society. On this basis, the project team identifies options for action and develops policy recommendations for a biodiversity-friendly implementation of CDR in Germany. 

Together with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the IÖW is helping to explore socially desirable transformation paths. An independent and critical assessment of the consequences of CDR methods and technologies includes highlighting potential conflicts of interest with natural climate protection and biodiversity.

IÖW Project Team