Getting to Paris: How humanity can reach climate goals set in Paris and save life on earth
It took four years, but UVA Professors Andres Clarens, Bill Shobe and Scott Doney have come up with two basic conclusions on what must be done to save life on Earth.
“Stop burning fossil fuels for our electricity, for our transportation, and we have to find ways to actually clean up some of the mess that we’ve made in the atmosphere, and that’s broadly referred to as carbon dioxide removal," he begins.
Working with colleagues at the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Energy Clarens says they found multiple ways to do that.
“Taking CO2 out of a power plant’s smokestack and putting it underground, planting a lot of trees. That’s a very popular option. Growing bioenergy crops.”
And then there is something called direct air capture.
“So that’s actually machines that will suck CO2 out of the air and put it underground. There are a lot of people who are excited about it. It’s unlikely that it’s going to be economically and technologically effective around the world at the scales we need it to be to solve climate change by itself.”
In fact, he adds, their models show there is no one silver bullet.
“Climate change is a big problem. It’s a complex problem, and it’s very unlikely that one technology is going to emerge that’s going to solve it.”
But by developing many evolving approaches and applying them, Clarens is hopeful we can meet the goals of the Paris climate accord.
This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.