What is it about?

Geoscience is the study of the earth – what it is made of, and how natural processes work. There are many ways it can help us reduce our use of carbon – for example, hydropower, which uses the natural flow of water generate electricity, is one of the most common types of renewable energy. Another example is geothermal energy. This is when heat from beneath the earth’s surface is used for heating, cooling, or to generate clean electricity. Geoscience has also helped us develop carbon capture and storage (CCS). This where carbon dioxide is stored underground. This stops it being released into the atmosphere, where it would cause global warming.

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Why is it important?

At COP 21 in 2015, 197 countries agreed to limit the increase in global temperatures to less than 2ºC. However, judging by our current pace of progress, we are far from achieving this objective. We need to make more use of geoscientific energies and technologies. This will mean increased demand for geological materials. We need better regulatory and licensing frameworks to manage that demand. KEY TAKEAWAY: Governments and other decision makers need to understand the role geoscientific solutions can play in reducing carbon emissions.

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This page is a summary of: Geoscience and decarbonization: current status and future directions, Petroleum Geoscience, July 2019, Geological Society, DOI: 10.1144/petgeo2019-084.
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