UNleashing Climate Restoration; Let’s Talk Climate Change
Two weeks ago marked the first meeting of the Foundation for Climate Restoration at the United Nations to discuss the urgent need to remove carbon from the atmosphere and other solutions. This brought together climate scientists, physicists, engineers, economists, statisticians, students, documentarists, business leaders and activists — even the Vatican was represented.
The Climate Restoration Movement is committed to removing a trillion tons of excess CO2 from the atmosphere safely and permanently, restoring the health of our land and oceans, and ensuring sufficient Arctic ice to prevent permafrost melt and the resulting disastrous methane emissions.
It bears underscoring the extreme urgency that underlies the event.
- Only 8 years remain in the effort to bring excess atmospheric levels within a 1.5 degree target
- IPCC models show that even with radical energy sector transformation and efficiency gains, a sizable gap remains for which it is assumed that removal of carbon from the atmosphere will be needed.
Restoration is easier for most people to understand than talking about temperature stabilization. It’s simple:
- A safe climate requires 300 parts per million (ppm)
- This is the first time since tracking started, that the world has passed 415 ppm
- Circular or carbon negative technologies need financial support and some earth engineering solutions will have to be vetted for safety and efficacy
While this may evoke images of seeding clouds, and launching mirrors into space, more doable solutions could be started right now. Reforestation and land use changes are important solutions. Circular carbon technologies (capturing carbon and beneficially re-using it) is another option. Companies like Blue Planet, Pond Technologies, Carbon Upcycle Technologies, Climeworks, and many others are at the cutting edge of creating new business models and technical solutions — a price on carbon would help these companies take off.
The presentation by Leslie Field, Founder and CEO, Ice911 was also very compelling. The Ph.D. scientist showed a harrowing two-minute time lapse NASA footage showing that most of the ancient, thick, white and reflective ice in the Arctic has largely disappeared over the last 20 years.
Young ice that we have now does not reflect the sun light back to space and also does not keep the permafrost at temperatures that hold underlying methane in place. Her solution layers naturally occurring silicon crystals on the young ice to make it reflective and restores thick ice like we have had for millions of years. She emphasized the urgency of developing a UN-backed facility to manage restoration solution proposals in an objective way, similar to UN facility to manage the Renewable Energy Credit authorization process. She mentioned that she was a mother of two as being central to her assurances that she would never propose a solution that would have any prospect of causing unintended consequences. Early demonstration projects of Ice911 are very promising both in terms of efficacy and safety.
Given the urgency of the problem, these types of solutions have to be considered. Devising an objective and rigorous system for investing in and vetting these solutions is needed sooner rather than later. The first forum for Climate Restoration is a great start but now we have to act.
Heather Langsner, VP Impact
- Bill Gates offers that directing capital to the right technologies is more critical than divestment
- The Vatican now officially supports Climate Restoration
- The technologies we should begin considering
For an additional read, Foundation for Climate Restoration White Paper: showcases solutions to the greatest threat facing humanity and nature today.
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