The UN’s latest global warming report made it clear that if the world is to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, society urgently needs to move away from fossil fuels completely.
But to keep the planet from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, the report says, we’ll also have to figure out how to undo some of the damage that’s already been done.
“Given our current knowledge, we can’t get to 1.5 degrees without removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it,” said Kelly Levin, a senior associate at the World Resources Institute.
With 1.5°C of warming just around the corner, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) considered several solutions for removing CO2 from the air—some as simple as planting more trees, others as complex as using technology to filter CO2 from the air. Their practicality and their risks vary considerably.