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8 May 2017

UK Launches ‘World First’ Greenhouse Gas Removal Programme to Combat Global Warming

In an effort to counteract the highly damaging effects of climate change brought on due to the overabundance of greenhouse gases now flooding the Earth’s atmosphere, various organisations throughout the UK are coming together as part of an £8.6m research programme aimed at finding ways to actively remove such gases using various negative emissions technologies.

The programme will explore the potential of negative emissions technologies including soil carbon management, afforestation, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, and the direct capture of methane from the air. It is hoped that such strategies may help efforts to keep global temperature increases below the 2°C target stated to be necessary if we are to avoid the worst of the potential devastation that climate change looks set to bring.

As global warming is, as the term suggests, a global issue, and one the UK cannot hope to tackle alone, the programme will also explore the political, socioeconomic, technological and environmental issues regarding the removal of greenhouse gases on an international scale.

The programme is jointly funded by NERC, the Economic & Social Research Council, the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. At the time of writing, four interdisciplinary, multi-institute consortiums and seven topic-specific projects have been awarded funding, with more expected to follow.

The Met Office and the Science & Technology Facilities Council are also involved, providing in kind support.

Director of science and innovation at NERC, Tim Wheeler, said of the extensive research programme, “This multi-disciplinary research embodies the research councils' shared commitment to working together to provide vital answers to society's most pressing questions.

“It will shed light on how new approaches could be used to prevent the effects of climate change, alongside reducing emissions, aligning with the UK's commitment to the 2015 Paris agreement.

“The UK research community is addressing the challenges of climate change by providing world-leading, independent research to inform decision-making that will ensure future wellbeing and prosperity for the UK and internationally.”

The programme will involve approximately 100 researchers from 40 UK universities and partner organisations, whilst also supporting 7 research studentships providing PhD training.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.