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Previous: Panel one - Q&A - part 1
Sarah: Okay, so now we're good to go with the second half of our Q &A with Chris and Becky. Chris, Becky, we a load of questions to ask you, so if you could please keep your answers pithy then that would be much appreciated. The first panel did pass on a couple of questions for you as well, so we've got a particular particular chunk to get through. I'm going to start with questions for Becky. So Becky, question from a participant. How much of a minority in the UK am I as someone who knows, understands and talks about climate change as a serious matter.
Rebecca Willis: Okay, great question. If you look at public opinion research, there's quite high levels of concern about climate change. Depending on how you ask the question, about 70% of people are quite worried about it. A fraction of those are very worried about it. In terms of those taking action, that's a harder thing to measure. You would find that out of those out of those 70-odd percent most people have thought about their actions in some way. So they might think about about driving less or flying less, or they might think about their-- they might think about using more renewable energy by switching to renewable energy tariff, for example. There are a lot of things individuals have done. Some individuals might choose to act by making their voices heard by talking to politicians or by writing or speaking about climate change. But it's hard to get a sense of what sort of levels of action there are out there.
Audience Member: With changes to help, what changes could we make to what we eat?
Rebecca Willis: Some of you will be part of a particular session that that starts over the second weekend, looking specifically at food and land use and the products that we buy, so I don't want to second guess that. But generally speaking, the biggest climate change impact of food, as Chris mentioned this morning, is the greenhouse gas emissions from from meat and dairy production. So that doesn't mean that people have to go vegan overnight, but it does mean that if we eat less meat and dairy as a whole, then that is a climate benefit.
Sarah: A few questions here about industry and different vested interests. So how can vested interests, so oil companies and car manufacturers, be held to account, taxed and have their lobbying power reduced. A similar question here. The industries are obviously more influential with the government that people are. What can we as citizens due to become more influential about climate change?
Rebecca Willis: Okay, so the first question on industry. There's a certain amount you can do by asking for transparency and by transparency I mean asking companies to reveal what their carbon emissions are, asking companies to reveal what meetings they have with government and keeping a log of those meetings happening. There's lots of information you can ask about, that you can ask of companies., and you can pass a law which requires them to offer you that information. Some of that has been done, and some of it hasn't. There are other ways that we'll talk about, in this afternoon's session, other ways that you can that you can regulate industry either through changing prices to make it more expensive to emit carbon dioxide and cheaper to save carbon dioxide, so you can change price signals. You can also regulate, so you can also pass a law that stops companies doing certain things. There's various ways you can get industry to take action and we'll look at those in more detail this afternoon. Have I missed one?
Sarah: I don't think so. Should politicians be allowed to have vested interests in companies that contribute to emissions?
Rebecca Willis: Okay, great question. I would answer this by going back to my point around transparency. So I think it's really important for politicians to be clear about who they're talking to and to be as open as they can about the conversations they're having. At the moment politicians have to declare, for example, if they've got additional jobs or they're being paid for for other work that they might do, they have to declare that. That's called a register of interests. So they have to say, for example, if they were being paid by a particular company to do a talk or something, they would have to declare that. I think there is scope for greater transparency by ,you know, providing information about what what meetings politicians are having. But at the moment, I mean, you know, I would say that it's really important for politicians to listen to and to hear from any organisation doing legal things. It is part of democracy that we should hear from his many voices as possible, and I wouldn't want to be censoring who politicians here from. It's really important that they have that freedom to get advice and talk to who they want.
Sarah: Two questions here. Why don't politicians listen to scientists, and why, if we need to move away from oil, coal, gas, are the government subsidising them by 10 billion?
Rebecca Willis: Okay, so the first one, why aren't politicians seem to scientists. Well, actually, I mean, this is my particular area of research, and I would say that there are a very small number of politicians who don't accept the scientific evidence on climate change. But there is a vanishingly small number. I could count them on, probably the fingers of one hand. I would say the position that most politicians are in is that they understand the science. They don't understand everything, but they have a good grasp of the science, and it's something that they worry about as politicians. But it's quite a difficult issue for them because, as I was saying this morning, it's not something that they can see by looking out the window. It hasn't been something actually, that people have come to them to ask them to address. That's changed a bit over the last year, we've seen heightened levels of awareness. But for a long time it's been possible for politicians not to really deal with it because they have a long list of things that people are asking them to work on. And historically, climate change has been quite low down that list. But we have seen that change, actually, and we've seen more pressure to act and in fact, more people talking to their politicians about climate change. And you know that dialogue is much more open now
Sarah: And why the 10 billion subsidy for oil coal-- I can't even say it. Oil, coal, gas and the other one?
Rebecca Willis: Yeah, so another excellent question. It goes back to what I was saying about how important fossil fuels have been to our economy. So we, you know, oil and coal and gas have been really useful. They've helped us to develop the society we have now, and if you look historically, governments have worked with those companies so, you know, so that we can use fossil fuels to do everything we need them for. I would say that its probably tipped now so that it's, you know, fossil fuels is causing more damage than benefit. That has switched over, and I think there's a bit of a time lag so that politics hasn't yet really come to terms with that shift. They haven't come to terms with the fact that we need to cut back our use of fossil fuels because of climate change. So at the moment there are still subsidies going to fossil fuels and there's a campaigns to try and stop that. That goes back to what I was saying about one of the things you can do being to change price signals, to change the prices so that it becomes more expensive to use fossil fuels and cheaper to use alternatives. And that could be the way that, you know, that could be the direction that policy goes, and it's something that you could discuss amongst yourselves.
Sarah: Why doesn't the government have a specific climate change department?
Rebecca Willis: It did. There used to be a department for energy and climate change and then-- the reason that the reason that government departments change tends to be political. It tends to be, for example, if there's a really powerful politician who wants a nice big department to manage than the prime minister will give them a department that looks big and powerful and so they will change around the government departments to make that happen. So now climate change has gone in with business. It's part of the business department. In some ways, that makes sense because, as we've been hearing, a lot of the changes that we need to make about the way our economy works and the way businesses work. So, having the same politician, the same minister responsible for climate change and business, you could say is a good thing. The problem with it is that it doesn't give a separate voice around the Cabinet table. There isn't a, you know, someone called the secretary of state for climate change. So when the prime minister is listening to the cabinet, there isn't a particular climate champion in the room and that's the reason why some people think that we should have a a specific department and a specific politician who is in charge of the whole process.
Sarah: Why is tthe EU not more prominent in the fight to combat climate change?
Rebecca Willis: Um, I think the EU is quite significant, actually. So it's actually, until now, that this would change, of course-- But until now, we've actually signed international agreements as the European Union and not as not as the UK. Some legislation has happened at European level and not a national level, and one of the things that we have to do around Brexit is to make sure that those standards, the environmental standards that we've put in place are-- we manage to get those in the national legislation so that what was being controlled by the EU we now control as the UK. I think the reason that the EU doesn't seem as prominent in climate discussions is that they're responsible for the international negotiations and the international position, whereas the job of how we cut our emissions between now and 2050, a lot of that is down to us as a country, the UK, so that's probably the bit that you hear about.
Sarah: How committed other countries like the USA and China to net zero?
Rebecca Willis: Right, so we have a very strong level of international agreement about climate change. Every country in the world signed the Paris agreement, but the U.S President Trump, when he came to power, said that he was withdrawing from the Paris agreement. But that is the only country who has said that they will withdraw. So there's a very strong level of international agreement. I think it's fair to say that there are differing levels of action so far amongst those countries who have signed the Paris agreement. But there's a very strong general consensus about the science and about the need to take action. China is a very interesting case because its emissions have increased rapidly over recent years, partly because it's dependent on coal and because it manufactures things that then get shipped around the world. And you hear different views from China, but certainly they've expressed pretty strong ambition levels around climate and there are plans in China to reduce emissions, so they are playing their part. The US is a bit more contradictory. I'd say the U.S. and Australia, there's a lot of political argument about climate change, and it's not-- it is really difficult to get a handle on how that's going to unfold as we go forward.
Sarah: So really pity answers wants the last few questions for you, but as pithy as you can do it. Why should people change the way we live when it should be more about how things are done at production? So, for example, renewable energy and new technologies, plastics made from-- can't read a word-- and biodegradable biodegradable materials.
Rebecca Willis: Well, I think it probably needs to be both. And in fact, saying that it's that it's either--
Sarah: Plastics made from hemp. I've just realised. Sorry.
Rebecca Willis: There are some things that you can do to make changes to products that you might not even notice in which reduce the reduce the pollution, reduce the carbon dioxide. So if something is made in a factory powered by renewable energy, then you know the product when it arrives to you is the same thing, and you won't even have noticed the difference you can you can make you can make things much more efficiently and again you don't necessarily have to do anything yourself as an individual. I think if we look over the next 30 years, it's going to be a combination. So there are some things that we can do that won't be a change that people notice. There are other things like switching to electric vehicles and maybe using cars less, which will involve changes to your lives. But they, ideally, they can be backed up by, For example, if you are asking people to drive less than you can provide better cycling in cities, better trains and so on. So I would say that its government and business and individuals working together that will that will get us there.
Sarah: Even pithier. What are the alternatives to fossil fuels and is nuclear power liable to increase?
Rebecca Willis: Okay, so the alternative to fossil fuels in an electricity generation are renewable energy and nuclear power, and we'll have a session that looks specifically at that. What was the second bit?
Sarah: Is nuclear power liable to increase?
Rebecca Willis: Um, it could increase. It's seen as a low carbon form of generation. Each country tends to take a different approach to their electricity mix. Some countries, like France, has been got three quarters of the electricity from Nuclear, and in the UK, it's now just under 20%. There have been plans to increase that, but at the moment there aren't really companies coming forward wanting to build nuclear power stations so it's unclear what's gonna happen there.
Sarah: Yes/no on this one, if you can. Have we started to see a drop in the use of fossil fuels?
Rebecca Willis: Yes, uh, I'm looking at Chris.
Chris Stark: not globally. So every year we continue to see an increase, but the rate of increase has been dropping, so the key is to reverse it.
Sarah: Final question for Becky, she'll be pleased to know. How is our carbon footprint print as a country not coming down when we have already reduced things such as car emissions so much? Is it all about population?
Rebecca Willis: So the carbon emissions and population track each other a little bit because the more people there are, on average, the more carbon emissions there will be in the UK. But our population hasn't increased hugely, so I think in the UK there's not that much of a relationship. You know, that's not one of the main reasons. We have reduced our emissions in the UK, you know, significantly, but nowhere near enough.
Sarah: Thank you very much. Chris. Surface transport was 23% in your pie chart, so why his government spectacularly failed to invest in rail transport, especially in Northern England over the last 30 years?
Chris Stark: I can't answer that question because it's a political one, really. But hidden in that question is a really good point that there are alternatives to using cars in particular. Some of those things we can switch to without government support. Becky mentioned cycling, for example. Some of them we can't. So the surface transport question is indeed linked to how much real provision there is and that is something I'm sure you'll want to talk about when it comes to how we travel over the next few weekends.
Sarah: A similar question. Public transport is more expensive and less convenient than private. How can we make him or make it more affordable and convenient
Chris Stark: Again, such an important question because it points to the need for the government to make a decision on that. One thing the government could do is make public transport provision cheaper. But as ever there are never any easy answers here. So the question is, how would that be paid for. That's going to be something I'm sure you want to talk about when we come to the transport discussion.
Sarah: Politicians have got the power. Do they have the will?
Chris Stark: Gosh, what an interesting question. I will answer it by saying this. As we've looked more and more at the topic of climate change, not just here in the UK but right around the world, What's clear is that, firstly, it's being driven by the use of fossil fuels. So that is the major major impact, and secondly, that there are alternatives to using fossil fuels and we've understood them more and more. So, we're not really in this discussion any longer talking about whether it can be whether we can switch from these fossil fuels and the things that cause global warming and climate change to the alternatives. We are increasingly talking about the willingness to do it. Some of that is about what politicians wish to do. Not all of it, however. So it's It's almost is a bit too easy to think that it's all government and that government needs to make all these decisions. It is definitely the case that some of the things that politicians do and government officials do. Setting policies, for example, will help. But there's a set of other things in there, too about what, for example, big Corporates do, what you as consumers choose to do as well. So it's a mix of always things that will address the question of overall, whether we're willing, if I can say, that we as a society to address the problem.
Sarah: Is there an argument for letting climate change happen?
Chris Stark: There is an argument. I have to say it's not a very good argument on on a straightforward basis. So you face a choice, I suppose. One is that you tackle the emissions that have been causing global warming, and we can say that the scientists are very clear that that is what's happening. You can face up to the cost of doing that, or you can choose not to do that. You can let it happen, but you have to face up to the cost of that happening too. What's abundantly clear is that the costs of the second of those things is much greater than the cost of the first. So that's the choice that faces politicians, and indeed, you in this room is, to what degree do we mix those two things together? The first of those things in my trade we call mitigating. That's mitigating the problem in the first place. Mitigation. The second thing is adaptation, so adapting to the problem of increased sea levels, more extreme weather, all the things that Ed talked about at the start. The second of those two things is very expensive, but never mind the expense, it's very problematic for humans living on this planet and all the species on this planet. So there will be parts of this world that become very difficult to inhabit if we let that happen, and there's a cost that you can put your dollar saying on and measure. But actually there's a much bigger course overall to the natural environment and to the people living on the planet. So overall the hard economics are that it's much better to do the first of those things, the mitigation than it is the adaptation.
Sarah: How do other countries perform with greenhouse gas emissions? Have they increased or decreased?
Chris Stark: so every country, the world has a different story. To tell on this, Becky talked about China, for example, and you could throw into the mix a country like India. Huge countries that have bean exploiting fossil fuels more and more and that's been driving global emissions up. And the UK is unusual in the sense that we got there first. So we started a lot of this with the Industrial Revolution. Many of the towns and cities in the UK are located next to where you find coal, for example, the reason for that is because that was the employment that came with it. We, however, have been reducing emissions for several decades now. Other countries are a different part in that story, and it's worth saying this now. I will cover this in the second session after lunch. It has been very helpful to us to lift people out of poverty, to give them jobs, to make sure that they're warm in their homes. Fossil fuels have helped immensely with that, in fact, that a large part of the story. But for most of the time we were using those fossil fuels, we didn't understand the impact that it was having on the climate. Now this presents a really interesting conundrum, I suppose, for those countries that haven't been through the process we've been through of modernising their economy, growing those industries. There is, I suppose, a moral question about what we say about that. So we know that using fossil fuels is causing a problem globally. But we also know that there are benefits to doing that. The thing I would say in the round in this is that we also know the alternatives to fossil fuels can be done too. So the challenge globally is for each country to make the switch to the alternatives to fossil fuels in such a way that allows them to continue to enjoy improved prosperity. Better it comes to the people living there. It's not easy. It's not a simple is just looking at the projection of greenhouse gas emissions in each country and making judgements about it. It's tough overall,
Sarah: We're going to have to have to speed up slightly, maybe, but I will let you have an extra five minutes of questions if we need it. So should the UK look at Scandinavian countries to the best practices when using alternative fuels such as hydrogen in cars? Finland has just announced that they are aiming to achieve net zero within 15 years, and also, hydrogen trains have been invented, and so is it possible aviation could move to hydrogen too?
Chris Stark: First question on countries in the world. We should learn, I think, it's definitely my view that there are examples all around the world of good things and indeed bad things that we can learn from. So yes, we should. We should look to that.The question of hydrogen is a really interesting one. Again, you'll hear about this over the course of the next four weekends, but hydrogen is a fuel that we know a lot about because it's the most common. It's the most common thing in the whole universe, actually, but and you can use it as a substitute for fossil fuels. You've got to work out how to manage it, it doesn't exist in its natural forms. You've got to create it some way. But if you have it, you can burn it so you can put it into something and use it in the energy system without causing the problem of global warming. But can it be used as a substitute for everything? No. So you know, it's probably it probably is a substitute for fossil fuels in some applications. Aviation is one of the areas where there is some interest in that, but at the moment, there isn't really anyone predicting a hydrogen plane anytime soon. So you face a different question when it comes to aviation which is how do you reduce the overall use of fossil fuels for aviation? Kerosene? Hydrogen at the moment doesn't look like a good option for fixing that anytime soon.
Sarah: Your pie chart. A comment here, 75% of this chart could be addressed by introducing renewable energy, e.g. PV, solar, wind, hydropower, et cetera. What is the likelihood of this ever happening?
Chris Stark: Well, you know, there's the $64,000 question. I mean, I agree with the premise of the question. There's a great deal of the pie chart that can be addressed by switching to renewable forms of energy generation and energy use. That's not a free pass because you know, although it's becoming more and more apparent that we can do that. You have to build the, what I would call infrastructure. That's the networks to bring them the electricity to you. You have to work out how you would use electricity in a different way and fossil fuels are just more convenient overall because we understand. That the challenge for you is to try to work out the degree to which we make that switch, and if we don't make that switch, what do we do instead? One of the things I'm so excited about with this climate assembly is that that's something I think that politicians and indeed those in the corporate world need to hear too, is your preference for how quickly that should happen overall. The key thing is that pie chart I showed you can be moved towards those things. The question is how.
Sarah: Interestingly that is sort of the next question. So is there anything you'd want to add for the question 'how to speed up implementing technology that already exists'?
Chris Stark: So I don't want to sit here in a pithy answer because Sarah keeps making eyes at me to make it as pithy as possible. But there are lots of ways in which you can force the pace of this. So, you know, there are a school of people who say that this should be done by manipulating the price of the alternatives and perhaps the price of fossil fuels themselves. So you can imagine what will you make fossil fuel use more expensive and the alternatives less expensive. You can do that with the tax system and that can force the pace of change. There are other ways to do this, though. And you could look, for example, at what's been happening with coal fired electricity generation, where we've simply, in this country, named the date by which we'll stop doing that. So that you could think of that as more of a regulatory tool. And there are lots of these examples across the economy. And think about the challenge of the cars and the vans on our roads. You could name a date by which you stopped the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles. You could do that with a piece of law or regulation and then everyone would know where they stood. But to do that, you have to be confident that there something to replace it and that we-- if it's if it's an electric vehicle, for example, that we have electricity generated in a suitably low carbon way for those vehicles and that the vehicles themselves are ready to be sold in the UK and people are ready to drive them. So all of these things depend really on a whole host of factors. But the important thing to say in answer to that question is that we have a pretty good understanding about how some of these things could be done with regulatory policies, with laws to ban things, and with taxes and other things that might change the differential price between the things that cause climate change and those that address it.
Sarah: How can the government better support existing homes to be more heat efficient?
Chris Stark: Again, this is another key question where actually government through the ages has had a few goes at this. So what's true to say is that overall in the UK, particularly we have a housing stock that is not very energy efficient. Partly, that's because a lot of the houses and homes that we have constructed over the ages have have not been built with that in mind. So you know that we have new houses that you may expect to be slightly more energy efficient. Old houses are tough. Tougher challenge. When we look at 2050, remember, that's the target to get to net zero emissions by 2050. Probably, we have about 80% of the buildings in the UK that we will have in 2050 today. So So you know that big challenges overall is improving the energy efficiency of those 80% of buildings, of the ones that we have now, and it's really tough. So you could do a mixture of things you can give an incentive for the people who live in that home or who might own that's building, to improve the energy efficiency of that home. That would involve things like loft insulation, double glazing those sorts of things. Typically, we find that giving an incentive can work, but it doesn't work as effectively as some of the other strategies. So, the other way you could do it is that you could make it free, so you could instead of making it slightly cheaper, say it's free to do those things or we could be even tougher than that. We could say actually, no, we're going to regulate. We're going to say that if your home is no energy efficient enough then you're going have to do something over above that to make energy efficient. That would be a bold step for a politician, but would certainly help with the energy efficiency problem overall. Probably, without prejudging what you'll talk about, it will be a mixture of those things. You could think of carrots and sticks and the third leg of it is tambourines. So how do people feel motivated to want to do this in the first place? That is the toughest of all the challenges I would say, is what happens in the home, which is why we've tried to create a whole session on that for you.
Sarah: How efficient are hydrogen boilers on if we change boilers to reduce building emissions, where we still use energy to produce hydrogen? Really short answer if you can.
Chris Stark: Hydrogen is not unease an easy answer. So hydrogen, I mentioned can be an alternative to fossil fuels. You've got to create it though. So the energy process to create it, so you can either take a force of fuel like natural gas, take the carbon out of it and store it and you're left with hydrogen at the end of that. That's an energy intensive process. Or you can do something you probably did at school. You can pass an electrical current across water, that's called electrolysis, and it creates a gas that you can pop. That's hydrogen. Both of those things require energy. The question of how efficient is therefore in using, if we have that hydrogen, if you get the supply of it, can you use it efficiently? Yes, you can. But the overall process of creating it and using it involves some loss along the way. And there's a cost to that, as ever, with these things. There's never an easy answer. So hydrogen might well be part of the mix of things in the future that we'll need.
Sarah: If the F gas is used in aerosols was so damaging, why has there been no drive to eliminate aerosols like there was with Microbeads?
Chris Stark: A brilliant question, because there has been actually quite a strong push to get rid of F gases, and indeed there's a global agreement on it, a protocol, that's been enormously helpful. Actually we've substantially reduced the use of them globally since that protocol has been in place, and that says we've understood their impact. But there are still some uses of it, in particular in medicine, where an F gas used as a propellant is still very helpful for health reasons. I mentioned earlier asthmatics, but you know that propellant is not easily replaced with alternatives, so it's not quite as easy saying they should be banned. But increasingly we understand more and more that that could well be the way that we handle F gases.
Sarah: Where does plastic production feature within your emissions chart?
Chris Stark: So glad this came up, and if it hadn't, I would have addressed it later when I spoke to you. The issue of plastics is strong related to the issue of climate. And tonight you're gonna hear from a man who knows all about this, of course, but and they're not the same issues. So actually, if you're gonna go talk in bold terms about that, plastic is a carbon store. So you've taken oil and gas and you've created a bit of plastic, and unless you burn it, you actually locked away the carbon. However, it is a pollutant, so it's not easily disposed off. Most of the plastic we've ever produced this still here on the earth, circulating around in particular in our oceans. So there's a strong relationship between what we do on cutting greenhouse gas emissions by using less oil and gas, and the plastics question overall. I'm very happy that the two things sit together, but they're not quite the same thing, and it is often the case that people do conflate them. So it's important to think about the difference.
Sarah: Where are we measuring where the rain water is falling since the climate is changing? And if you are measuring where the water is falling, why would you let people build and buy houses there?
Chris Stark: Quite right, is my response to that question. We have excellent, excellent understanding of how rainfall has changed, particularly in the UK. We have some of the best meteorological information in the world. The Met office, you might have heard of them, do that and they make really good predictions of what the future holds given all the climate change that's now in the system. One of the things that the Met office can tell us with, a really astonishing precision, is the impact this is going to have on flooding, for example, and on rainfall patterns, and it does mean you can build maps of the country that do highlight whole sections of the country where you will see increased flooding, we sometimes call them flood plains. It's a good strategy not to put housing on those flood plains. But if you are gonna put housing on those on those flood plains, make sure that people who are moving into those homes know it, and that it doesn't happen at the moment. So there's a whole set of things that go with that. We have very good predictive power when it comes to this, but perhaps not the right government approach in terms of the planning system overall.
Sarah: So we carried over three questions for you both for the last panel. I don't mind who answers them, but only one of you can answer each of them. So one of them, Chris, actually, you already answered. But if you could just reiterate for clarity, so it's about the relative costs of mitigating versus adapting.
Chris Stark: Just restate what I said that overall, the economics. You get some very big numbers when you look at the the adapting question and you know that there's a lot of movement in the numbers. But the numbers themselves are always enormous, so cost of adapting is typically much higher than the cost of mitigating overall.
Sarah: Can oil and gas be replaced by renewables to save climate problems, and is it affordable?
Rebecca Willis: Ah, yes. So when you're looking at electricity production we've got there are a lot of existing technologies like wind power and solar power that you can use to generate electricity, and you can use those instead of oil and gas and coal. So we know that that's possible. So there's some areas where we haven't got such well developed alternatives. So if you look at steel production, for example, most steel is still made by using coal, and that's a necessary part of the traditional way of making steel. And there are alternatives emerging. But at the moment, those alternatives and more expensive. they're partly more expensive because fossil fuels are still quite cheap compared with the pollution they produce. So it goes back to what we were saying about changing the prices so that in steel, for example, companies have the incentive to invest in different approaches. And generally speaking, the pattern is that once a company-- once an industry has invested in alternatives, the prices for that come down. So we've seen, for example, in solar panel, huge cost reductions in solar power as companies get better at making it and find cheaper ways of making it. So, generally speaking, it will be these alternatives will be more expensive at the beginning. But then, as we get as we get better and find clever ways to make them, the costs come down quite considerably
Sarah: And the final question. How can we remove carbon dioxide from the air, and is it just about planting trees?
Chris Stark: So there are lots of ways in which we can remove carbon dioxide from the air, and it's important to see that before we start doing that, the important part of the strategy is reducing the amount of comes out. So we're putting in the in the first place. That helps immensely, obviously, and all the things we'll talk about are a mixture of those. Firstly about how you reduce the emissions going into there in the first police and then, secondly, how you balance off what's left having done that. The simplest way to take carbon dioxide from the air is to grow a tree. There are some other things you can do, so we call this-- the technical term is biomass, so anything that grows and which which uses that carbon dioxide as part of the process of growing, stores away the carbon for a period, it depends what you then do with it. The other way of doing it is through technological means. Here we enter less certain outcomes. So it is possible to do what's called direct air capture. Some people are very excited about this. That's where you actually quite literally suck the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and then store it somewhere. Now that might sound quite appealing, given all the things that we talked about it, but I'm afraid there's a big cost to that. So there's an energy costs to that, so they will work from the electricity system. So these things that will suck the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere that typically you have to plug them in. There are some alternatives to that. But that's a process that has an overhead, too, so there isn't an easy answer to this. And in fact, we look at the costs of the direct air captured, even the projected cost of direct air capture, they are huge. So you know, per tonne of carbon stored, it looks like a very, very expensive way of addressing the net zero challenge overall.
Sarah: Becky did you say you wanted to add two sentences only?
Rebecca Willis: Just a really quick thing to add is that if you're looking at ways of reducing carbon on the one hand, and they went ways of removing it from the atmosphere on the other, the short answer is we need to do both. There is a danger and I've been involved in some research which shows that if you focus too much attention on removal, on technologies which, as Chris said at the moment, either don't exist or are very expensive. The danger is that if you draw a lot of attention to those removal technologies, it makes it less likely that you make progress on carbon reduction because people are sort of seduced by the promise of something that might happen in the future. So, you know, what I think is important to bear in mind is that we absolutely need those carbon removal technologies. But we need them as well as carbon reduction. They're not an alternative.
Sarah: And that's it. Could we thank our panellists, please? So if you just stay there for one second while I--
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