What Do We Know About Adaptation and Carbon Dioxide Removal in a Warming World? | Climate Impact Platform Webinar #4


The effectiveness of adaptation in reducing climate-related risks is known to decline at higher warming levels (Lissner et al., 2024). Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is one way to stabilize temperature levels as stated in the latest CDR report, even though deep and sustained emissions reduction in all sectors remains the most important pathway for keeping within Paris-agreed goals. From these two facts, we ask: What do we know about adaptation and CDR in a warming world?   


The latest webinar from CGIAR’s Climate Impact Platform will explore this question, bringing together expert speakers from two different fields of climate research.  

Adaptation actions are becoming less effective as the average global temperature continues to climb. Dr Tabea Lissner, Research Director, Global Solutions Initiative and a Lead Author of the 6th IPCC Assessment, has dedicated her career to understanding climate change adaptation, vulnerability, and risk. Her talk will spring from this study and this Carbon Brief blog post, both of which she co-authored, exploring how water-related adaptation decreases with increasing warming. Dr Lissner’s work, aims to bridge the gap between the very context-specific adaptation needs on the ground, especially of the most vulnerable, and the global challenges and responses that these processes are embedded in. In the context of a discussion about CDR, Dr. Lissner will provide an important perspective, exploring what is at stake if we surpass the 1.5°C temperature threshold enshrined in the Paris Agreement, how that threatens adaptation efforts, what that means for the
world’s most vulnerable communities. 

Additionally, Dr. Annette Cowie, Principal Research Scientist at NSW Department of Primary Industries, a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change and Land, and another lead author of the 6th IPCC Assessment, demystifies carbon dioxide removal.  CDR is human activity that captures carbon dioxide (CO) from the atmosphere
and stores it for decades to millennia. There are many CDR methods, which cover a variety of ways to capture and store CO
. These methods have different levels of readiness, potential and durability. Each method has sustainability risks that could limit its long-term deployment. 

Alongside rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the scaling up of novel CDR and the expansion of land-based CDR are urgent priorities if we are to meet the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement – according to the second edition of The State of Carbon Dioxide Removal.  


Dr Cowie is one of the lead authors of this foundational report and will take to the (virtual) floor to explain the status of CDR in 2024. While global mitigation scenarios and national climate plans are increasingly relying on large amounts of CDR, there is still a lack of political action. To date, almost all CDR comes from “conventional” land-based methods like reforestation while “novel” methods with more durable CO2 storage (like direct air carbon capture and sequestration) are still in their infancy. How can policymakers, therefore, incentivize the timely upscaling of CDR without undermining the
priority of emission reductions?