But with world events making it seem increasingly unlikely that will happen, scientists are now turning their hand to alternative solutions.
Including the world’s first power plant to successfully send greenhouse gases deep underground, and turn them into rock.
The Hellisheidi geothermal power plant situated on the mid-Atlantic ridge, is the newest and largest geothermal plant in Iceland – a country that heats 90% of its homes using geothermal water.
But the plant has now become the first in history to capture carbon dioxide from ambient air, using a system of fans and filters, and then store it in bedrock 700 metres down.
There the gas reacts with basaltic rock and forms solid minerals, creating a permanent storage solution, and turning Hellisheidi into a negative emissions site.
While the EU-funded project, which is run by the public utility company, Reykjavik Energy, has proved cynics wrong it is still only a pilot.
Capable of capturing 50 metric tons of CO2 each year – a small drop compared to the 40 trillion kg we produce – and roughly equivalent to a single household in the USA or ten Indian homes.
Christoph Gebald, Founder and CEO at Climeworks, said: “The potential of scaling-up our technology in combination with CO2 storage, is enormous. Our plan is to offer carbon removal to individuals, corporates and organizations as a means to reverse their non-avoidable carbon emissions.′
It also costs $600 per ton of carbon dioxide, a figure they are hoping to reduce to $100 per ton.
Iceland currently runs 100% of it’s electricity from renewable sources.
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