About this Research Topic
Climate change, induced by the excessive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from anthropogenic activities, is one of the greatest global challenges facing humanity today and in decades to come. To address this challenge, a range of important measures are being developed or have already been adopted, including switching from fossil fuels to renewable resources, reducing emissions through improving efficiencies and demand management, and capturing the GHGs produced to avoid their release to the atmosphere. In addition to these measures for curbing new emissions, negative emission technologies (NETs) for removing GHGs (CO2 in particular) from the atmosphere are increasingly considered as necessary for stabilizing climate. According to the IPCC, all climate pathways that limit global warming to 1.5°C with limited or no overshoot project the use of CO2 removal in the order of 100–1000 GtCO2 over the 21st century. The deployment of NETs could become one of the most significant undertakings in industrial development, with profound impacts on the future of our society.
The NETs considered so far include a diverse range of options, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage as well as direct air capture and subsequent sequestration or use in products, enhanced weathering/oceanic alkalinity, afforestation, and other land/soil management solutions. These options differ widely in their approach to capturing atmospheric carbon (such as biological versus abiotic) and to storing the captured carbon (such as above ground, in soil, below the subsurface, or in the sea; and with or without chemical conversion). Complementary to the technical research and development of these schemes through experimental and pilot explorations, there is emerging research on important systems issues, such as the overall techno-economic, environmental and social viability of individual NETs, policy requirements, potential synergies and conflicts with other climate actions (such as emission reduction), strategies for deploying NETs (where and when), and the integration of NETs and the associated industries with the wider economy. This Research Topic aims to take stock of the recent development and learning from studies on these systems issues, and to promote research on holistic approaches to the future development and deployment of NETs.
We welcome contributions on the following themes:
• Techno-economic assessment and/or life-cycle assessment of specific NETs
• Cost-reductions by learning-by-doing, economics of scale, and other economic issues associated with the implementation and up scaling of NETs
• Synergies or competition between NETs and other emission reduction strategies
• Value and/or supply chain analysis of NET systems
• Spatial (siting) and temporal (timing) strategies for deploying NETs
• Effectiveness monitoring and verification to validate carbon removal
• Integration of NETs into energy, industrial and other systems
Types of manuscripts
• Original research
o New assessment on a specific theme or perspective
o New assessment approaches and methodological considerations, particularly those that could have wider applications for evaluating NETs
o Overview and synthesis of existing assessments on a specific theme/perspective, or of assessment approaches
o Review of current/emerging policy and practice
o Presentation of a viewpoint on a specific area of NET analysis
Image used with permission from Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change
Keywords: negative emission technology, life-cycle assessment, social acceptance, environmental impact, economic cost, policy, value chain, supply chain, spatial strategy, systems modelling
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.