Oxford-led greenhouse gas removal programme launched

24 May 2021

Research teams across the UK, coordinated by an University of Oxford-led Hub, have been chosen to investigate innovative greenhouse gas removal (GGR) techniques to help to stabilise the climate. The research programme involves a dozen universities and is funded for nearly five years.

Cameron Hepburn, who is leading the multi-disciplinary Oxford hub, said, ‘Greenhouse gas removal is essential to achieve net zero carbon emissions and stabilise the climate. Alongside the need for much faster emissions reductions now, we also need to start pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere.

‘Greenhouse gas removal is not only essential, it also has the potential to become big business. As we rebuild societies and economies following Covid-19, we have an opportunity to orient ourselves towards the green jobs and industries of the future. I’m delighted that UKRI is supporting such a strategic programme.’

The research programme will focus on 

  • Large-scale tree planting, or afforestation, to assess the most effective species and locations for carbon sequestration at sites across the UK, including land owned by the Ministry of Defense, the National Trust and Network Rail.

  • Peatland restoration at sites near Doncaster, the South Pennines and in Pwllpeiran, west Wales.

  • Enhanced rock weathering – crushing silicate rocks and spreading the dust at field trial sites on farmland in mid-Wales, Devon and Hertfordshire.

  • Use of biochar, a charcoal-like substance, as a viable method of carbon sequestration. Testing will take place at arable and grassland sites in the Midlands and Wales, a sewage disposal site in Nottinghamshire, an opencast coal mine in Cumbria and railway embankments.

  • Rapid scale-up of perennial bioenergy crops such as grasses (Miscanthus) and short rotation coppice willow at locations in Lincolnshire and Lancashire.

> Find out more

> Read more in The Guardian

> Read more in The Independent

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