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What we do

Funded through the UKRI SPF Greenhouse Gas Removal Demonstrators (GGR-D) ProgrammeCO2RE will co-ordinate the Programme and conduct solutions-led research to evaluate a balanced portfolio of economically, socially and environmentally scalable GGR options, with associated policy design, engagement and outreach. This will enable the UK to lead internationally on achieving global netzero emissions, consistent with the Paris Agreement. Find out more about what we do below.

The challenge

Achieving a net-zero emission economy in the coming decades, and potentially net-negative emissions thereafter, is arguably the world’s biggest challenge. The UK has made a strong start, as the first G7 country with a legislative commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Achieving net zero requires dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, but it also requires creating and scaling up a global Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR). The UK government’s Net Zero Strategy states that GGR is essential to compensate for the residual emissions arising from the most difficult activities to reduce or eliminate from within polluting sectors. 

This new effort will need to scale to the multi-billions of carbon dioxide removal globally, and multi-millions in the UK, within a few decades. This is an unprecedented challenge. Key technologies need to fall in cost, business models need to be developed, economic policies and legal and regulatory frameworks need to be put in place in a manner that is socially and environmentally acceptable and robust. In the UK alone, this burgeoning industry needs to be capable of removing around 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2050, according to the Climate Change Committee’s Balanced Net Zero Pathway.

Learn more about Greenhouse Gas Removal on our dedicated FAQs page.

Success will require bringing the best and brightest together from many areas, including scholars from multiple academic disciplines. New science, new social engagement, new policies and new business ideas are needed, as is world-leading technological innovation, skills, collaboration and finance.  

The path ahead

CO2RE, the Greenhouse Gas Removal Hub, is conducting cross-cutting research on the environmental, economic, social, cultural, ethical, legal and governance issues around GGR. The Hub co-ordinates across the national programme (linking to the Demonstrator projects), connects to other relevant programmes nationally and internationally, and commissions grants through a Flexible Fund.

CO2RE will develop a rigorous approach to ensure that GGR techniques are able to develop rapidly, effectively and responsibly, alongside action to reduce emissions. To do this we have three overarching objectives.

Our three objectives

Supportive policies

Provide a portfolio of robust, implementable and equitable options for policy and governance, supporting bankable business models for sustainable GGR deployment to help achieve UK net-zero emissions by 2050.

Scalable technologies

Develop a coherent evaluation framework for the Demonstrators and other GGRs, covering lifecycle assessment, economic costs, environmental impact, governance and social perceptions. Accelerate development of promising, globally scalable options by linking to InnovateUK and other support and sift out ineffective ones.

Enhanced capacity

Build a GGR research & innovation community by linking initiatives within the Programme and with other national and international programmes. Leverage additional funding to deliver legacy activities. Develop transparent and robust decision-support processes for key stakeholders and champions to shape and use GGR to achieve net zero.

The six societal needs for GGR

We have identified six broad societal needs to meet the three objectives above and achieve GGR at scale by 2050, involving transformations across political, social, technological and economic systems. Our research at CO2RE is designed to ensure that the following societal needs are met and maps directly onto them:

1.

A clear vision for GGR. GGR is an emerging sector that will need to be integrated with, and additional to, broader initiatives to stop climate change.

2.

Public support for GGR, as it will have big implications for communities and the environment. People need to be given a say in decisions which affect them, and GGR should be done in a fair way and brings other benefits.

3.

Innovation, because many approaches are at an early stage of development and are expensive. Government support and effective policies can stimulate innovation and bring costs down.

4.

Long-term, government-backed incentives for GGR are crucial to support the fledgling market.

5.

Strong and robust monitoring, verification and reporting to track the deployment and effectiveness of GGR.

6.

Tools for businesses, policymakers and others to make better decisions on GGR as it scales up.

The Demonstrator projects

CO2RE is working closely with five Demonstrator projects around the UK, each looking at new, improved ways to capture and store carbon on land: 

The relationship between the GGR-D Programme, Demonstrators and CO2RE

Together, CO2RE (the Greenhouse Gas Removal Hub) and the Demonstrators form the UKRI GGR-D Programme. CO2RE is responsible for co-ordinating the GGR-D Programme as well as undertaking solutions-led research on GGR. A key role of CO2RE is to provide insights into the cross-cutting challenges that will be faced by the Demonstrators and co-developing evidence of scale and wider acceptability of GGR approaches. The Hub will provide friendly but critical oversight as the Demonstrators advance, which will result in the co-creation of valuable new knowledge as they scale.

Funding opportunities

CO2RE holds a £1 million Flexible Fund which will be used to fill in gaps and needs identified during the lifetime of the Programme.

The fund will support work to address research and engagement gaps through three approaches:

  • Innovations for new GGR approaches
  • Capacity building to build a new cohort of GGR expertise
  • Engagement with stakeholders to support exchange across the sciences, arts and humanities with stakeholders and publics    

Find out more about funding opportunities.

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Events

The UK GGR Event: Current Innovations & Future Directions
The UK GGR Event: Current Innovations & Future Directions

12-13 May 22. Showcasing the latest GGR research & innovation and highlighting its role in effective, sustainable & equitable climate action. Read more

Greenhouse Gas Removal: Getting it right for people and the planet
Greenhouse Gas Removal: Getting it right for people and the planet

12 May 22. Discuss, debate and discover how to get Greenhouse Gas Removal right for people and the planet. Read more

What does the IPCC say about carbon dioxide removal? (Online panel)
What does the IPCC say about carbon dioxide removal? (Online panel)

4 April 22. A chance to hear the key messages on carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the latest IPCC report directly from the authors themselves, and ask them your questions. Read more

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