Photosynthesis: nature requires carbon dioxide

It’s pie in the sky time again as charity Oxfam trashes various so-called climate pledges, calling them greenwashing. For starters they reckon the amount of land required to fulfil them would far exceed anything likely to be available worldwide.
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Oxfam says governments and companies are “hiding behind unreliable, unproven and unrealistic carbon removal schemes” in order to hit targets, reports BBC News.

Global attempts are being made to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

But the charity claims net zero targets are often a “greenwashing exercise”.

Net zero means any emissions that can’t be stemmed by clean technology in 2050 will either be buried using carbon capture and storage, or soaked up by plants and soils.

Reaching net zero will also mean phasing out the internal combustion engine and dramatically increasing renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar, while decreasing fossil fuel pollution.

Danny Sriskandarajah, chief executive of charity’s UK branch, said companies and governments are using the “smokescreen” of net zero to continue “dirty, business-as-usual activities”.

“A prime example of the doublethink we are seeing is the oil and gas sector trying to justify its ongoing extraction of fossil fuels by promising unrealistic carbon removal schemes that require ludicrous amounts of land,” he told the BBC.

Nafkote Dabi, climate policy lead at Oxfam and co-author of the report, told the BBC that there is only 350 million hectares of land that can be used globally for afforestation and carbon removal without compromising food security.

Oxfam calculated that the total amount of land required for planned carbon removal could be five times the size of India, or the equivalent of all the farmland in the world.

Full report here.

A gardener plants a young hornbeam as part of Milan's reforesting project
Three millions trees are being planted in the Italian city of Milan by 2030, in order to fight climate change

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August 5, 2021