The New StatesmanThe New Statesman

We should remain sceptical about carbon removal

By India Bourke

30 Mar 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

Carbon capture schemes may be an essential when it comes to tackling the climate crisis, however some scientists fear that it could be a dangerous distraction which lets politicians off the hook.

Imagine that burning fossil fuels is the equivalent of smoking, and that the resulting climate crisis is lung cancer. In the range of available treatments, the best option is to reduce reliance on cigarettes as speedily as possible – or, in climate terms, to reduce energy consumption and speed up the transition to renewable sources.

Sometimes, however, either it is impossible for the smoker to stop, or too much damage has already been done, and medical intervention is needed. In the energy analogy, such efforts fall under the category of so-called “carbon removal”.

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