The Clean Air Task Force (CATF) advocates for “change in technologies and policies needed to get to a zero-​emissions, high-energy planet at an affordable cost” [1]. Through technological innovations, policy work and thought leadership, CATF looks to drive realistic and implementable solutions – before it’s too late. Focusing on the global energy system, CATF works across six main areas: advanced energy systems, advanced nuclear energy, bioenergy, carbon capture, power plants, and super pollutants.

In recent years reaching ‘net-zero’ has become a political rallying point frequently cited as a key step towards minimizing climate change. Many nations have promised to reach net-zero in the coming decades. In simple terms, “net zero means we are not adding new emissions to the atmosphere. Emissions will continue, but will be balanced by absorbing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere” [2]. In this way, the need to both reduce and remove emissions is imperative. 

Accounting for more than two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions, reducing emissions from the energy sector is a critical step in the fight against climate change [3]. This involves investing in clean energy, replacing coal with renewable energy sources, wide scale adoption of electric vehicles (also powered by renewable energy) and reducing our consumption of meat.

Removing carbon from the atmosphere, on the other hand, primarily involves carbon capture. A number of technological innovations have been developed to capture CO2 from the point of emission (e.g. industrial facilities that use fossil fuels) or directly from the atmosphere. Despite advances in carbon capture technology, nature provides us with one of the best methods of removing carbon – “forests, peat bogs, mangroves, soil and even underground seaweed forests …  are all highly efficient at absorbing carbon,” [4] which is why widespread deforestation has such a detrimental environmental effect. 

In supporting efforts to develop and/or improve alternative sources of energy, capture carbon and reduce super pollutants, Clean Air Task Force is working on the front lines of climate change mitigation.