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Addressing climate change requires discarding the business as usual approach

Addressing climate change requires discarding the business as usual approach

We need to decarbonise, restore, and conserve. This complicated yet straightforward path can help solve the climate crisis.

On the journey to the UN Climate Conference at Glasgow (26th CoP), numerous interventions are being proposed to either stop or slow down global warming. Man-made solutions like geoengineering to nature-based solutions are being proposed to sequester the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to limit warming.

The special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlights the perilous impact of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels on natural and social systems and calls for strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change. The temperature target for the report is very ambitious. Achieving it would not just require limiting our greenhouse gas emissions, but also removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

During the recent debates, geoengineering and nature-based solutions have emerged as potential options to offset the global impacts of climate change and reach the temperature goals. Let us understand these solutions briefly. Geoengineering solutions are an umbrella term for human interventions to change the climate systems.

The IPCC talks about two major geoengineering approaches for removing excessive greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The first approach is carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management. The first carbon dioxide removal approach focuses on removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and locking them away. One of the ways to do it is through carbon capture and storage technologies (CCS). The CCS has significant backing from the International Energy Agency and the IPCC; however, it still is hanging in uncertainty due to high upfront costs in the instalment of such plants.

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