Limiting the increase in the global mean temperature to below 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial level is fundamentally possible - this is shown by the "IPCC special report on 1.5 ° C global warming" of the IPCC. If humanity succeeds, the risks and possible damage could be significantly reduced compared to a temperature rise of 2 degrees or more. On the one hand, however, this requires rapid and far-reaching emission reductions in many socially and economically important areas. On the other hand, in addition to a strong reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide (CO2) would also have to be extracted directly from the atmosphere in order to achieve so-called "negative emissions". This can be done, for example, by afforestation, rewetting of bogs or technical processes. The resulting CO2 can also be converted back into energy sources or other carbon-containing products through chemical processes.
By 2050, the goal of net zero CO2 emissions would have to be achieved in this way. In Cluster 1 of the Helmholtz Climate Initiative, strategies and new ways of removing carbon from the atmosphere are scientifically examined and evaluated in 4 projects with a view to the German framework. Based on the currently most promising contributions to a national net zero strategy and the transparent presentation of research results, Cluster 1 will advance the public and political debate on CO2 neutrality at various levels - also in the Helmholtz Association itself.