CSIRO discusses the role of carbon dioxide removal at COP28

December 8th, 2023

DR ANDREW LENTON joined international colleagues at COP28 in Dubai to launch a new Work Plan for MI-CDR’s Enhanced Mineralization Technical Track.
L-R: Mr. Faisal Al Qurooni, Ministry of Energy, Dr Andrew Lenton, CarbonLock Future Science Platform and Prof. Hussein Hoteit, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Attending the UN Climate Change Conference, COP28 in Dubai, CarbonLock Future Science Platform Director Dr Andrew Lenton joined colleagues from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for an event by Mission Innovation Carbon Dioxide Removal (MI-CDR) to launch the new Enhanced Mineralization Technical Track Work Plan.

The Work Plan, spanning 2023-26, sets out the next steps for the global carbon dioxide removal (CDR) community. It outlines the key focus areas of enhanced mineralisation (EM) technologies over the next three years in the context of national and global net zero goals.

The key focus areas for the EM Technical Track include:

  • Facilitating an improved understanding of local and global CDR potential for EM technologies,
  • Supporting activities that help address critical technological challenges and innovation gaps and supporting the development of industries, and
  • Enabling collaborative global pilot-scale testing of EM technologies.

Dr Lenton said that while positive progress had been achieved globally since last year’s COP27, we were still yet to harness the full potential of EM as a carbon dioxide removal technology.

“The key carbon mineralisation reactions underpinning EM technologies occur in nature, but over huge time scales. The main challenge for enhanced mineralisation technologies is speeding up these reactions to lock away atmospheric carbon dioxide permanently as stable carbonate minerals,” Dr Lenton said.

“We look forward to working jointly with our international colleagues to overcome these challenges, with a focus on knowledge sharing, mobilising industry development, and pilot-scale testing — as well as sharing what we’ve learnt from EM projects underway in CarbonLock.”

Ms Renee Birchall, who is leading the MI-CDR engagement in CSIRO, said participating in initiatives like MI-CDR is crucial to achieving global climate targets.

“We have limited time and a long way to go to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees and reach net zero emissions,” Ms Birchall said.

“To achieve these goals, it is essential to take a coordinated and collaborative approach with a high degree of knowledge sharing; helping fast-track R&D and move CDR technologies to scale.

“Australia’s diverse geology and established primary industries position us as a potential world leader in CDR, with enhanced mineralisation technologies playing a key role in this.

“Although the CDR industry in Australia is still emerging, our deep domain knowledge and expertise in existing industries, such as the resources industry, complement CDR technology development and will help realise local- and global industry potential.”

Download the Work Plan