Carbon sequestration

As we have delayed so long and are still so slow to take action that is capable of producing meaningful change, we need to already aim beyond zero emissions but be working on carbon sequestration - reversing the problem  (already in action (2040:The Regeneration) in other jurisdictions whilst also supported by crowd funding).
The evidence for the most effective methods for this is dynamic so there is a need for agility and a flexible and adaptable approach. This being said - kelp forest and sea grass expansion as well as offshore renewables are probably the methods rated most effective, which Jersey should consider immediately- particularly as the first two options could be incorporated into a biodiversity protection scheme (marine reserve) option - as highlighted by NTJ 

 

Why the contribution is important

Jersey needs to work with what is available in Jersey - our unique environment is our best asset in relation to "turning the tide" on climate change. Protecting our marine environment in the process of tackling climate change would be transformative in helping us believe this change is possible and also beneficial. 

by JuliaM on February 01, 2021 at 08:26PM

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Comments

  • Posted by NickPalmer February 02, 2021 at 08:57

    Renewables probably won't help Jersey to lower its carbon emissions much. The electricity supply is already very low carbon (sourced from the French grid). What Jersey should focus on is phasing out petrol/diesel driven vehicles and replacing oil/gas heating systems with the electrical equivalent. Long term there is the possibility of generating hydrogen and hydrogen derived fuels using renewable electricity, but they're still working on developing and improving the technology to do that efficiently and economically.

    Jersey's 'Scope 3' emissions are where Jersey probably has its largest impact on the world. These are those emissions associated with the mining, refining, transport and manufacturer of the goods us consumers use, abuse and throw away at unsustainable rates - just because most of these emissions occur overseas (dare I say offshore?) doesn't mean that we have no responsibility for causing them.
  • Posted by NickPalmer February 02, 2021 at 09:06

    Kelp and sea grass beds, but particularly oyster and mussel reefs would help (the shells can sequestrate carbon in a long lasting form) but would only be part of the solutions needed.
  • Posted by Fleur February 02, 2021 at 11:29

    I agree with Nick, Jersey should focus on phasing out diesel/petrol cars and replacing gas/oil heating. I am surprised people are still able to install gas/oil heating etc when this is not even an economically good option for the consumer as a choice looking into the future.
  • Posted by TKHathaway February 02, 2021 at 18:16

    JuliaM's opening post – asks the question about not just getting to the point of zero net emissions, (i.e. Preventing further change to the atmosphere and climate) but also how the damage already done over the last 150 years can be reversed, and what may be the best strategy for this... and if I might add...

    Can we do this at a net profit for the island?

    For Jersey while a biological approach to carbon capture can be undertaken through the planting and encouragement of green spaces or 'reforesting'. Jersey does not have much free land or space to do this and make a significant impact or offset.

    Therefore to my mind, to our collective main focus should be on support initiatives that take a more mechanical or chemical approach to 'carbon fixing' that does not require large amounts of physical space so limited on out island.

    In recent years there has been quite some experimentation in this area, and in Iceland the 'Climeworks' company has even got to the point of practical demonstration of commercial technology. I have included some links at the bottom of this post, if you would like to know more.

    While I would not necessarily be suggesting Jersey pursues building such 'atmospheric scrubbers' here in Jersey, another thread on this forum ask the question of ethical investment for pension funds. Thus what I might suggest instead, is that we seek to support this type of initiative by us leveraging some of out strategic reserve, or borrow against the strategic reserve, to buy in investment into businesses looking to develop commercial carbon capture technologies.

    Why?

    Given we know that the world as a whole is starting to wake up to the notion of needing to tackle the damages of modern civilization, it is likely that this area/industry is going to expand greatly in the near future, and so it might may some good investment sense to 'buy in now' as an early adopter while the share price might be cheap and/or cut deals for investment and return.

    10, 30, 60 years later, we could then either sell such stakes, or have made back the investment in returns, and so not only would we have contributed to rectifying some of the issues of past, but possibly have made some money in doing so.

    Now it is quite possible that the Government of Jersey, on behalf of the people of Jersey might not be able to do this. Yet given the wealth of investment expertise in the island, I would say that it should not be unreasonable for the government to find local skill to support such an initiative and approach such entrepreneurial businesses looking to develop these kinds of technology and and make overtures, and discuss investment and return possibilities.

    The viewpoint I would like to bring is that let's not assume that this is a zero sum game, where there is only a cost involved, and that rather we should be looking for solutions that make practical economic sense as well as environmental sense.

    Link:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch/63S0t4k_Glw
  • Posted by TheResearcher February 07, 2021 at 21:30

    I fail to see the point of trying to capture CO2, when vehicles do not just produce CO2, they produce NOx, Particulates, partially combusted hydrocarbons, many toxins and carcinogens (cause cancer).

    This is as much a clean air issue as it is a CO2 issue.

    "A guide to vehicle exhaust emissions"
    https://www.rac.co.uk/[…]/

    "Recent studies of COVID-19 in several countries identified links between air pollution and death rates."
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/[…]/S0269749120365489

    "Air pollution a cause in girl's death, coroner rules in landmark case"
    https://comment.gov.je/[…]/carbon-sequestration

    "Health Issues created by NOx"
    Long term exposure can decrease lung function, increase the risk of respiratory conditions and increases the response to allergens. NOx also contributes to the formation of fine particles (PM) and ground level ozone, both of which are associated with adverse health effects.
    High levels of NOx can have a negative effect on vegetation, including leaf damage and reduced growth. It can make vegetation more susceptible to disease and frost damage.
    NOx also reacts with other pollutants in the presence of sunlight to form ozone which can damage vegetation at high concentrations.
    http://www.icopal-noxite.co.uk/[…]/nox-pollution.aspx

    Sweeping CO2 under the carpet is not a solution, it's an excuse to let people continue to pollute just as they do today, as if they are exempt from action against climate change and air pollution.
  • Posted by NickPalmer February 08, 2021 at 12:31

    TheResearcher - I don't think anyone credible is saying that only CO2 emissions need to be addressed but those aspects have a minor role to play in global warming thus are not critical to address for that reason. Ironically, addressing particulate emissions would increase the rate of global warming as particulates tend to be a cooling 'forcing'.
  • Posted by RoseAnne February 09, 2021 at 16:12

    Carbon sequestration needs to be a part of the solution hand in hand with reducing all our harmful emissions. I totally agree that we need mussel and oyster farms (in Grade A waters!) as well as huge kelp and seagrass beds where suitable, and highly protected mearl beds. These are all excellent for carbon sequestration.
    All new builds should be built to the highest eco standards possible and none should use any energy source other than electricity. Any new builds should necessitate improvements in cycling, public transport, and walking infrastructure (less emissions from vehicles) as well as planting of native hedging, trees etc whilst legally banning the felling of existing trees or removal of ponds/marshes etc. This should all be paid for by the developer. Any removal of trees etc without specific permission should result in prohibitively high fines. Similarly, paving over areas of land, and replacing grass with astroturf should no longer be allowed as it prevents the soil from sequestering carbon.
  • Posted by TheResearcher February 09, 2021 at 18:39

    NickPalmer,

    "Black carbon particles, or soot, are collecting in the pristine Arctic, darkening the surface of the snow and ice and causing it to absorb more heat. Scientists believe that black carbon may be causing the region to warm and melt even faster than it otherwise would as the climate continues to change."

    "In the winter, pollution levels rise substantially, and fossil fuels become the biggest source."

    "Overall, averaged across the year, fossil fuel burning — likely from nations throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including Russia, China, Europe and the United States — remains the biggest source. It likely accounts for about 70 percent of year-round black carbon pollution in the Arctic, the research suggests."

    https://www.scientificameri[…]oot-that-speeds-arctic-melt
  • Posted by TheResearcher February 09, 2021 at 18:39

    Locally, PM2.5 comes from combustion engined vehicles.

    News today “We estimate a global mortality burden of 8.7 million premature deaths in 2018 from fossil fuel PM2.5 pollution,” Mr Vohra said.

    https://www.independent.co.[…]-fuels-deaths-b1799380.html

    The majority of people will read that news item and write it off as just being India and China deaths, but it's not, it's global.

    It may not be millions here, but it's more than likely not zero either, because all the combustion vehicles on the island are emitting PM2.5 which pedestrians are breathing in, people with no car air filters (old cars and any commercial vehicles except really new) are breathing in, motorcyclists and cyclists are breathing in, children waiting for the bus or school pickup are breathing in, etc.
  • Posted by NickPalmer February 11, 2021 at 12:32

    "The majority of people will read that news item and write it off as just being India and China deaths"

    Actually, it's down to areas where there is still severe pollution, such as China and India - and a lot of that is from industrial processes.

    Particulates can be both a positive forcing (dark snow) and a negative one, reflecting radiation, forming extra clouds etc. The article is being too simplistic in its attributions although it does acknowledge the huge uncertainties in the figures

    Quote from article "The study provides a central estimate of 8.7 million premature deaths a year, but notes a possible range of between -1.8 million and 14 million.
    “The uncertainty is due to the relatively limited number of epidemiological studies of the very high PM2.5 concentrations typical of China,” said Mr Vohra."

    BTW, not many activists realise that there are natural sources of PM 2.5s and PM 10s too
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