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The challenge is huge and growing – global temperatures will breach the Paris 1.5 degree Celsius mark, probably by 2030. Even if we meet all committed emissions reductions plans, we are way off track and currently heading for a catastrophic 3 degrees of warming. 

By 2030, today’s 11-year-old will be adults and by 2050 many will have their own families. What will we say to them about the choices we made? 

There’s an urgent need for investment in solutions to reduce global warming but how do we ensure the demand to act now does not overshadow pioneering work that has the potential to lead to new discoveries and scientific breakthroughs that could deliver scalable solutions. 

When it comes to carbon removal and storage, the landscape is crowded, confusing and evolving quickly.  

One overlooked but promising areas of work is in supercharging greenhouse gas removal solutions that have their roots in nature.  

Millions of years of evolution means that the natural world has the answers. We just need to understand and unlock them. 

In other words, we need to support cutting-edge innovation, such as the application of biotechnology to deliver enhanced, scalable solutions for carbon sequestration.   

There are so many reasons to direct support towards novel research that has the promise of truly ‘game-changer’ solutions.  

Here’s ten reasons why: 

  1. By 2050 an estimated 10 gigatons of CO2 per year needs to be removed from the atmosphere to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. However, outside of natural processes, we currently have no proven scalable solutions to meet this challenge. 
  2. Natural processes use the sun’s energy to absorb carbon dioxide – we know they work, and it is self-replicating. Currently a quarter of global emissions are absorbed by forests and grasslands and at least another quarter by the ocean, making it one of the world’s largest ‘carbon sinks’.  
  3. Despite its potential the scale up of natural processes through the application of biotechnology is poorly understood and underfunded. 
  4. Game-changing solutions are out there, undiscovered in labs and in some of the brightest minds around the world. But many are underfunded and ignored. Funding can spur critical early-stage research, support new exploration and lead to breakthroughs to generate the development pipeline needed to implement carbon dioxide removal at scale. 
  5. From methane eating bacteria, to carbon hoovering plants, already we are supporting compelling projects that show what early to the field research has the potential to achieve. 
  6. The potential co-benefits of solutions based on natural processes are significant. Food production, land use and biodiversity gain are all vital considerations in the race for greenhouse gas removal solutions. 
  7. Research into approaches and technologies that can be scaled is critical and it’s rare to have these kinds of funds dedicated to specific topics and projects. 
  8. Developing and funding a pipeline of projects increases the chances of globally significant solutions that respond to future challenges. 
  9. Science based solutions will have the rigour and evidence to stand up to regulation and scrutiny in the future.  
  10. The risks and consequences of climate change are being felt daily and failure would be not to try. 

These are some of the reasons why we’re seeking out the best projects from the brightest minds across the world and bringing together a community of support with a collective goal of ensuring that scientific breakthroughs of the future are not lost in the politics of today 

CTRF will be at COP28 with the aim of further understanding the carbon removal landscape and raising awareness of this importance of robust research in what is a fast-moving environment that demands scalable, rapid solutions that we don’t yet have the ability to deliver safely and effectively.