By Volker Sick, Global CO2 Initiative Lead

Prior to the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, experts anticipated it to be the “most critical and controversial report on climate change.”

As shown in today’s report, it is increasingly clear that transitioning to renewable energy is not enough if we are to meet our climate goals. We are faced with a critical need to accelerate the decarbonization of heavy industrial sectors and the removal of some CO2 from the atmosphere.

We must deploy and scale innovative technologies that remove and reverse the impacts of climate change, and carbon dioxide capture, conversion and utilization technologies must be part of this approach.

Carbon Capture and Use (CCU) alone has the ability to use up to 10% of current annual global CO2 emissions. Captured and utilized carbon presents tremendous market opportunity by creating high-volume materials, such as concrete, aggregates, fuels, and carbon fibers. This is important, because it means world leaders, businesses, and consumers will have both an economic and environmental incentive to use CCU technologies.

In order to make any real progress in reversing climate change, we must accelerate the pace at which CCU technology is developed and raise awareness about CCU potential. That’s where the Global CO2 Initiative at the University of Michigan comes in.

The Initiative elevates innovative climate change solutions across multiple industries and disciplines, including researchers, policymakers, and technologists. As the IPCC report prescribes, international action is required. The Global CO2 Initiative at the University of Michigan is positioned to drive the deployment of carbon management technologies at the local and global level.