Biogenic Carbon & Climate Change Mitigation: Silver Bullet or Flash in the Pan?

Rolf Frischknecht, Cyril Brunner, Guillaume Habert, Niko Heeren, Bruno Peuportier, Matti Kuittinen, Alexander Passer, Cornelia Stettler, Andrew Norton, Hansueli Schmid, Ilkka Leinonen, Niels Jungbluth, Christian Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Key conclusions from this scientific meeting can be summarised as follows. CO2 is a waste product and urgently needs a proper treatment, like phosphorous emissions in the 1960s and NOX emissions in the 1980s, which were effectively being reduced with wastewater treatment plants and car catalysts, respectively. Biogenic carbon needs to be stored long-term (3000 to 8000 years which is equivalent to 100 to 300 generations) to be effective in reducing the rise of the global surface temperature. Temporary storage of biogenic carbon may be used to cap peak of temperature rise but only if fossil CO2 emissions are drastically cut to net zero (i.e. including permanent carbon dioxide removals, CDR) at the same time. Temporary storage of biogenic CO2 gives us a few decades time to develop effective CDR methods. CO2 offsets shall be based on CO2 removal and long-term storage. Technologies are currently not available and urgent efforts are needed to make them ready in large scales within the next few decades.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBuildings and Cities
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2022
Event80th Life Cycle Assessment Forum - DF 80 - ETH Zentrum campus, Zürich, Switzerland
Duration: 9 Jun 2022 → …

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems


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