PICS Net Event

“Every bit of warming matters, every year matters, every choice matters”

We welcome you to watch the recording - and read the event summary - of this PICS-hosted panel discussion among leading climate experts and innovators on the emerging field of Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs), with perspectives spanning the sciences, engineering, policy, and implementation.

NETs are systems that remove and permanently sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. These include both natural and industrial approaches, e.g. from planting trees to machines which extract CO2 out of the air for storage elsewhere.

NETs are not a substitute for reducing emissions, but they are an essential tool within the climate solutions toolbox for offsetting otherwise hard-to-decarbonize sectors. They can also help redress the imbalance caused to the natural global carbon cycle caused through decades of emitting greenhouse gases (GHGs)

The clock is ticking. To limit warming to 1.5°C as pledged under the Paris Agreement, global net human-caused emissions of CO2 need to reach ‘net zero’ around 2050, and all pathways require NETs. If we pass that threshold, NETs will be even more paramount.

Connect with our panelists from Canada and the United States as they tackle tough questions such as:

  • What are our carbon budgets and debts to keep warming below 1.5°C or 2°C, and how can we meet them with NETs and other mitigation solutions?
  • NETs can have repercussions on energy, water, food, and ecosystems – but so does inaction. What might our future society and the environment look like?
  • How can we best invest our R&D money and knowhow given the uncertainty around many NET options and feasibility?
  •  Who? You? Me? What forms could or should NET mobilization take, and how do we build capacity equitably and sustainably?
Holly Jean Buck Photo
Holly Jean Buck, Assistant Professor, University at Buffalo

Holly Jean Buck is a geographer and environmental social scientist studying how emerging technologies could address environmental challenges. She is an Assistant Professor of Environment and Sustainability at the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY, where she teaches environmental justice. She holds a PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University, and a MSc in Human Ecology from Lund University in Sweden. Her book After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair and Restoration explores best-case scenarios for carbon dioxide removal. Her research interests include ecological restoration, emerging information technologies, and rural futures.

Christopher Neidl Photo
Christopher Neidl, Co-Founder, OpenAir

Christopher Neidl is the co-founder of OpenAir, a global volunteer network launched in 2019 to advance direct air carbon capture (DACC) through open-source, crowd-based R&D and advocacy missions. In September 2020, OpenAir will publish VIOLET, the world’s first miniature, open-source DACC device, which will serve as a platform for collaborative research, invention and problem solving. Neidl comes to the DACC field with 15 years of career experience in the renewable energy sector, spanning diverse research, activist and advisory roles in both urban and “off-grid" contexts throughout North America, South Asia and East Africa. Neidl is a New York native, UBC graduate (BA. Geography, 2001), and current resident of Costa Rica.

Jennifer Wilcox Photo
Jennifer Wilcox, Professor, University of Pennsylvania; and Senior Fellow, World Resources Institute

Jennifer Wilcox is the Presidential Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Energy Policy at University of Pennsylvania, and leads the World Resources Institute’s Carbon Removal Plan as a Senior Fellow. Previously she was a Chaired Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Wilcox's research targets the nexus of energy and the environment, developing strategies to minimize the negative impacts of human activity on our planet. She is an expert on CO2 capture from air, utility-scale, and micro-scale sources – coupled with utilization or sequestration. Her committee service includes the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society to assess carbon capture methods and climate impacts. She is the author of the first textbook on the subject, Carbon Capture (2012).

Kirsten Zickfeld Photo
Kirsten Zickfeld, Professor, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Kirsten Zickfeld is a Distinguished SFU Professor of Climate Science in the Geography Department at Simon Fraser University. Her primary research interests are in the long-term effects of human activities on climate. She is internationally recognized for her research on the irreversibility of human-induced climate change and carbon budgets consistent with climate targets. She served as a Lead Author of the recently released IPCC Special Report of on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees and is a Lead Author of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. She has won the President’s Prize of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and SFU President’s Prize for Leadership in Sustainability.

Devin Todd, PICS Researcher-in-Residence with the Solid Carbon NET Feasibility Study

Devin Todd joined PICS in 2020 as a Researcher-in-Residence focusing on Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs) with the Solid Carbon project. Prior to joining PICS, he worked with start-ups and investors to advance and triage their cleantech projects. He holds a PhD and a BASc in Mechanical Engineering from UBC.