ANU Below Zero Emissions: Removing atmospheric greenhouse gases

A close-up image of gum leaves, with the sun shining down from above and a blue sky in the background.

How might we fast-track approaches that draw down greenhouse gases at ANU?

About this Event

This digital workshop (via zoom) provides an opportunity to share your ideas for how the Australian National University (ANU) might fast-track approaches that draw down greenhouse gases at ANU. The event will kick off with very short presentations to set the scene by:

  • Prof Mark Howden, Director of the Climate Change Institute
  • Prof Penny King, Research School of Earth Sciences
  • Aaron Tang, PhD student, ANU Fenner School of Environment & Society

Participants will then be invited to share their ideas for how ANU can achieve this goal (40 mins). All contributors are requested to keep their statements very short and concise to allow a range of people to contribute.

This is a public workshop event and will be recorded. The recording will be made available through the ANU Below Zero website and to those who register using the Registration link above. Please read the Consultation Information Sheet, User Guide and Moderation Guidelines which detail important information and the terms and conditions of engaging with this process.

ANU Below Zero Consultation

In February 2020, ANU called for urgent action to address climate change and committed to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to below zero, as soon as possible.

ANU are now undertaking a consultation process around how we can address climate change. Consultation is open from 8 Sept -20 October 2020 and you can participate by:

  • Registering for this workshop
  • And / or contributing your ideas and build on other people’s ideas via our online idea capturing platform - Ideanote*

*In order to post/save your idea, you will be asked to join ANU Below Zero after hitting the submit button. You can use your ANU ID and password by clicking the Single Sign On (SAML) option.

The consultation has been divided into seven themes. You can also engage on the other themes:

Background on removing atmospheric greenhouse gases

To limit global warming to well below 2°C, ANU will need to not only reduce our existing greenhouse (GHG) emissions but also draw down and store or use greenhouse gases through the development of carbon sinks, an approach known as negative emissions.

Approaches and technologies that achieve this at scale are still being researched and developed, with several ANU researchers heavily involved. This focus on negative emissions provides us with an opportunity to go above and beyond what other universities have undertaken and establish a leadership position for ANU.

Approaches could include sequestering carbon into landscapes at scale. To achieve this, ANU will need to own / have access to land that can be used for indefinite carbon sequestration via vegetation and soils. Land managed in this way can also provide a range of ecosystem benefits such as rehydrating landscapes, supporting wildlife and even providing opportunities for regenerative agriculture.

Another approach is capturing carbon and using it to create building materials and other products. This requires the development of technologies that use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in conjunction with renewable energy to produce high value, recyclable goods as part of the circular economy (Carbon Capture and Utilisation). These building materials can then be used to construct new facilities and appliances on campus, storing carbon for the long-term.