CO2 is a waste management problem. We have for two centuries simply dumped the waste from energy production — which is carbon dioxide — in the atmosphere and not thought about it any further, and we are gradually waking up to the fact that that’s not acceptable!
While trees and other plants can remove some carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, most climate change experts agree we can’t plant enough, fast enough, to do the job alone.
Carbon capture technology has been around for decades, and is used to strip carbon out of factory emissions as well as remove carbon that’s already in the air.
But it’s expensive, and until the cost of releasing carbon into the air rises, there’s little economic incentive to use it.
Carbon capture technology will become cheaper, but it will never be zero. Hence, even the best carbon capture technology will be useless if we are not willing to put a price on carbon.