The Fierce Urgency of Now.* The Deployment of Negative Emission Technologies (Nets) by Regional International Organizations

| May 22, 2020 | Leave a Comment

Media Type: Article - Foundational

Author(s): Thomas Boudreau, Ph.D., Furtuna Abebe, Maheesha Mudannayale

Categories: , , ,

“THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW:” *

THE DEPLOYMENT OF NEGATIVE EMISSION TECHNOLOGIES (NETS) BY REGIONAL IINTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.

*Quoted from Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” Speech, August, 1963.

 

By Thomas Boudreau, Ph.D., Furtuna Abebe, and Maheesha Mudannayale

Chapter 8, Article 52 of the United Nations Charter

Nothing in the present Charter precludes the existence of regional arrangements or agencies for dealing with such matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security as are appropriate for regional action provided that such arrangements or agencies and their activities are consistent with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations.   

Dedicated to the memory of Wangari Maathai, Kenya

INTRODUCTION

In its October, 2018 report, the IPCC stated that to keep global warming under 1.5°C, emissions must go negative, and quickly. The problem is that such Negative Emission Technologies (NETs) are largely under developed, potentially very expensive and may have unforeseen consequences. Yet, the IPCC made it clear that without the use of such negative emissions, we may well experience a 1.5 C increase or more in global temperatures very soon — with disastrous consequences.  But the costs, alone, of developing such potentially vast NETS are well beyond most governments’ ability to finance through the research, development and deployment (RD2) stages.  In view of this, the following precis will argue and strongly advocate that Regional Intergovernmental Organizations (RIOs) each adopt one or two NETs to develop and deploy rapidly as possible. This is described as the RIO Strategy of climate mitigation which must be pursued in conjunction with large scale carbon cuts by states and individuals. This idea was first developed in a previous MAHB paper at:  MAHB article, “1% Solutions,” in which the idea of tackling global climate change via NETs by fractionating this problem among states was first explored.

 THE RIO STRATEGY: EACH RIO ADOPTS AT LEAST ONE NET.

“Without Vision, a People Perish.”  Proverbs, 29:18

The RIO Strategy proposed here is that, after close consultations, every major Regional Intergovernmental Organization can adopt one or two NETs, uniquely tailored to each region, to help draw CO2 out of the global atmosphere. It should be noted that such NETs create jobs, thus helping to achieve sustainable development by creating a green economy; in short, a variety of NETs will be researched, developed and deployed (R&D2) by the largest regional organizations in the world —such as the Arab League, ASEAN, the African Union (AU), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Commonwealth of Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS), the European Union (EU), The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IAD), the Nordic Council, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Southern African Development Community.

 In a previous   MAHB article, we called for “a 1% strategy in which scientists, policy makers and citizens initiate a variety of mitigation methods that each take at least 1% of the total CO2 out of the global atmosphere….With 20 more similar methods, we could reduce CO2 in the Global Atmosphere to a level below 400 ppm permanently, making our survival more certain in a very problematic future due to climate change.”  (“1% Solution, Part II,” Boudreau, MAHB, June 11, 2019).  In the current context, a cumulative “1 PPM strategy” involves that each RIO commit to developing one or two large scale Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs), in which each NET seeks to draw out up to 1 PPM of the CO2 in the global atmosphere. Along with the IPCC and several other organizations, we have identified the most promising NETS in another MAHB article; (see: “The Restoration”: Boudreau et al., The Restoration, MAHB, Oct. 19, 2019. This is, indeed a Herculean task.  Fortunately, there are actually a lot more promising candidates to become NETs—see list at the end of this article.).  So, a successful RIO strategy requires the immediate and intensive research, development and deployment (R&D2) of 15 to 20 NETs with the goal of collectively or sequentially lowering the CO2 in the global atmosphere to below 400 ppm as the immediate and urgent imperative of humanity. In essence, this involves the restoring and returning to the CO2 level of the Earth Atmosphere to levels prior to spring, 2013…. If this process is found to work, then efforts should continue until there are 350 PPM of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.

This is a truly a massive undertaking so each regional organization is asked to fund only one or two NETS. This RIO strategy should be pursued simultaneously with vigorous carbon cuts to insure the RESTORATION of the global atmosphere to levels of, as a first goal, the pre-400 ppm of CO2 that insures life on the planet for the now threatened future. This will also help achieve sustainable development goals by promoting  employment and green economies especially in developing countries. Funding for this global RIO strategy can come from private philanthropy, the World Bank, cuts in military budgets or the UN Security Council’s urgent implementation of the Earth Armistice which is elaborated upon in earlier MAHB articles.

THE IRON HYPOTHESIS: A REGIONAL EXAMPLE?  

THE POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTION OF THE OAS OR MERCOSUR/ MERCOSUL AND PACIFIC ALLIANCE AS AN EXAMPLE OF A UNIQUE RIO NET:

As NASA PHOTOS REVEAL, MASSIVE PLANKTON BLOOMS SEEM TO BEGIN WITHIN THE TERRITORIAL WATERS OF COUNTRIES ON BOTH SIDES OF SOUTH AMERICA. The proposed use of the Iron Hypothesis See MAHB articles, below) suggests that these countries can potentially greatly accelerate the absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere by systematically enriching these blooms with iron filtrate within their respective territorial waters.  In particular, the iron ore mines of Argentina are near railroad lines that lead directly to ports on its southern coast (Puerto Deseado), where the great Antarctica plankton blooms seem to begin. Argentina is ideal since all the key components of carbon sequestration can be brought together with the smallest carbon footprint and maximum potential impact. It will also create potentially massive employment for the region. On the other side of South America, Peru and Ecuador seem to be the literal ocean front for the great Transpacific Plankton bloom.[6] Thus, the question becomes: Who will fund these projects?  The answer could be the World Bank, with reconfigured development goals to address the threat of climate change to developing countries’ hopes for prosperity, or UN Security Council (UNSC which can adopt in one day, one place, one vote an Earth Armistice that will raise hundreds of billions of dollars to prevent future conflicts by addressing climate change now (see MAHB Links, below). 

Such deployment is uniquely suited to South America; other RIOs can focus on and develop other NETs uniquely situated by their own geography, location and resources.  For instance, massive amounts of the mineral olivine—which absorbs CO2- exist in the interior of Australia; is there any way that this massive deposit of olivine minerals, or other metamorphic ultramafic minerals, can be R&D2 to become another NET? Considering the very high stakes involved, it is at least worth asking the question, or right questions, and perhaps even forming an exploratory committee, consisting of open minded individuals—a rare human resource!– to investigate the possibilities of such a NET –before defeating ourselves by dismissing this potential opportunity out of hand.  To fulfill the IPCC 2018 mandate, we must now embark, as the Great Gandhi would say, on great “Experiments with Truth” until an effective network of NETs is established in every region of the world.   Such a RIO strategy must be in parallel and close correspondence to continuing carbon cuts, as called for in the 2015 Paris Agreement, if such a reduction and eventual Restoration is to be ultimately successful.

CONCLUSION: THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF NETS

If the great regional international organizations work to promote the RD2 of NETs and restore the global atmosphere, then the dream of the IPCC may be realized—that of keeping climate temperatures below 1.5 degrees C. It should be pointed out that such a RESTORATION effort lead by the RIOs is almost synonymous with sustainable development, broadly defined, and will create thousands of jobs; these efforts must include a variety of mitigation strategies and methods such as continuing carbon cuts as well as greatly accelerated research and development of Green Technologies and economies; as the 2030 Agenda states, “We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path.” 

  • Related articles:

IPPC REPORT FOR POLICYMAKERS: OCT 2018

AT: https://www.ipcc.ch/2018/10/08/summary-for-policymakers-of-ipcc-special-report-on-global-warming-of-1-5c-approved-by-governments/.  This report calls for the use of negative emissions to prevent temperature rise of Earth to and beyond tipping points, since “since warming of 1.5°C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes.”

REPORTS ON TYPES AND USES OF NETS (SIMPLY A SAMPLE) : 

https://www.nap.edu/catalog/25259/negative-emissions-technologies-and-reliable-sequestration-a-research-agenda

Negative emissisons: Priorities for Research and Policy Design: at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fclim.2019.00006/full  

Plus: https://eciu.net/analysis/briefings/net-zero/negative-emissions-why-what-how

And: https://qz.com/1416481/the-ultimate-guide-to-negative-emission-technologies/

Or:

Negative Emissisons Technologies: A Complimentary Solution for Climate Change at:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969719315177

MAHB PUBLICATIONS REFERRED TO IN THIS ARTICLE (ABOVE) :

https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/blue-oceans-green-seas-1-solutions-part-ii/

https://mahb.stanford.edu/library-item/restoration-immediate-imperative-using-negative-emissions-reduce-amount-co2-400-ppm-global-atmosphere/

https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/earths-atmosphere-global-trust/

https://mahb.stanford.edu/library-item/earth-armistice-updated/  -argues that climate change, if left unaddressed, will result in international conflict and, as such, is a growing threat to the maintenance of international peace and security. For the same reason, Art. 52 (cited on Cover, above) is relevant as well.

https://mahb.stanford.edu/post-author/boudreau-thomas/

The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.