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Projects Tackling Climate Change: University of Oxford's Greenhouse Gas Removal Cooperative

In Late May 2021, a group of research teams across the UK were chosen to receive £30 million in backing for the purpose of researching and developing innovative ways to remove harmful greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. This is a process called greenhouse gas removal (GGR) and it is an invaluable tool to combat anthropogenic (man-made) climate change. Reducing emissions at the source will always be the primary method to cut emissions, but GGR is another part of a holistic approach to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases already present in our atmosphere. It has the potential to become a big industry consisting of nature-based and engineered solutions to collect these gases from the air and store them in inert ways.

The cooperative is spearheaded by the University of Oxford and includes 12 other partnered universities across the UK. The project group, named CO2RE, states its mission to “develop ways to remove harmful gases from the atmosphere in an economically, socially, and environmentally responsible way” With enough funding for the next 5 years, this project is to bolster the UK’s promise to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 in association with the UN’s Paris Agreement.

The project is largely research based, but practical demonstrations are also part of CO2RE and includes nature-based ways of collecting carbon such as: large-scale tree planting, or afforestation, peatland restoration, enhanced rock weathering, use of biochar, and rapid scale-up of perennial bioenergy crops. Each demonstration is led by a partnered university in the cooperative.

With luck, this project will not only fast track viable strategies in GGR, but it will also spur more ambitious climate action from other countries around the globe. We got a sneak peak of this when there was an increase of nations and sub-nations pledging to have net-zero emissions following the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) back in November 2021 when the CO2RE hub was present and had a platform. Hopefully, spawning more global climate action projects in tow as well.


1) “£30 million official backing for Oxford-led greenhouse gas removal programme” Oxford University

2) “What is Net Zero?” Net Zero Climate

3) "Net Zero Stocktake 2022" Net Zero Climate

4) “The Paris Agreement” United Nations Climate Change

5) “COP26: Together for our planet” United Nations Climate Action


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