Launch of nationwide CO₂ removal research program CDRterra at LMU

17 May 2022

Coordinated by LMU as part of the nationwide CDRterra research program, researchers are investigating how CO₂ can be removed from the atmosphere. The kick-off is planned from 18-20 May.

Forests bind CO2. Their ability to do so depends on how healthy they are. | © LMU

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich is coordinating the new CDRterra funding measure of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Germany aims at becoming climate-neutral by 2045. However, even massive reductions in emissions will no longer be enough to achieve this goal: “To limit the increase in average global temperatures to 1.5 °C, it now seems that we have no choice but to deploy methods that will generate what are termed ‘negative emissions’,” explains Professor Julia Pongratz, Chair of Physical Geography and Land-Use Systems at LMU’s Department of Geography. “Using negative emissions means that we have to find ways to actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere – through reforestation or technical processes, for example – and then store it permanently.”

The BMBF program brings together ten interdisciplinary consortia involving more than 100 researchers. They will comprehensively and systematically investigate the ecological, technological, economic, political and societal feasibility of the different methods of removing CO2. Potential conflicts with other Sustainable Development Goals, for example concerning resources such as water and land, will also be taken into consideration.

LMU is leading the overarching CO2 Removal Synthesis and Transfer Project CDRSynTra, which will bundle the findings of the individual research projects.

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Scheduled to run from 18-20 May, a launch event for the funding program will be opened by Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Germany’s Federal Minister of Education and Research. “The strength of our consortia lies in their transdisciplinarity,” Pongratz says. “A broad range of scientific disciplines are engaging in a dialogue with the government and the public at large, creating the scientific basis on which sensible ways to deploy CO2 removal methods can be designed.”

More information about the BMBF funding measure is available at the website of the LMU and the project website of the BMBF.

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