Huge machines that suck carbon out of the air would be great, but they're not ready yet.
On Monday, experts from 150 countries will release an important report detailing ways to keep global temperatures down in the face of climate change.
Sounds like a good thing, right?
Well, not everyone is happy. That’s because a draft of the report suggested that we would need to use huge machines that suck carbon out of the atmosphere to meet our climate goals. An unnamed expert familiar with the report told the BBC that such machines are “carbon unicorns” — implying that while, yes, they sound amazing in theory, they’re simply unrealistic.
The purpose of this report, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is currently drafting in South Korea, is to provide the international community with a roadmap it could follow to get the climate situation under control.
We’re facing an uphill battle on that front, so the IPCC may feel pressure to include a too-good-to-be-true solution in the document in an attempt to generate some optimism — or at least offer a path forward.
Still, what we need are viable solutions, not “unicorns.” Thankfully, the BBC reports that the IPCC’s document will include some of those as well, such as planting more trees.
And to be fair, the price of removing carbon from the air is falling — though the technology needs far more work before it’s a practical solution to our climate woes.
READ MORE: Caution urged over use of ‘carbon unicorns’ to limit warming [BBC]
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