Feasibility of Afforestation and Biomass Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) for Greenhouse Gas Removal (FAB-GGR)

FAB-GGR is a new four-year, £2 million multi-institute consortium project that aims to better define the real world feasibility and consequences of large-scale afforestation and biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) approaches to greenhouse gas removal (GGR). These two greenhouse gas removal approaches have been chosen because they: have a common basis in growing biomass on available land; and play the largest roles of any GGR approaches in future low emission scenarios that keep global mean temperature increase to below 1.5 °C and 2 °C.

 

The interdisciplinary research team is led by Dr Naomi Vaughan and involves scientists, engineers and social scientists from the University of East Anglia, the University of Manchester, the University of Exeter and the University of Aberdeen with support from project partners at the Met Office.  The project is part of a £8.3 million Greenhouse Gas Removal Research Programme, which will evaluate the potential and wider implications of a variety of options for large-scale removal of greenhouse gases. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ERSC) funds the Greenhouse Gas Removal programme.

The project objectives are:

(1) To assess the nature and requirements of afforestation and BECCS supply chains that achieve global net greenhouse gas removal levels of 1 GtCO2/yr and 10 GtCO2/yr respectively.

(2) To explore the real world feasibility of these 1 GtCO2/yr and 10 GtCO2/yr supply chains, by evaluating their associated wider consequential environmental, technical, economic, policy and societal implications and trade-offs.

Dr Nem Vaughan and Dr Johanna Forster (UEA), Dr Clair Gough (University of Manchester) and Prof Tim Lenton (University of Exeter) will bring together the expertise from across the project to lead the overall integration, assessment and synthesis.  An expert stakeholder group of industry, policymakers, non-governmental organisations and some academics will participate through three workshops to guide our research and ensure our findings reflect the latest thinking in industry, government and civil society.

Dr Astley Hasting (University of Aberdeen) will use detailed crop models to explore the impacts and trade-offs on the carbon balance of large-scale biomass use.  Dr Paul Gilbert and Dr Mirjam Röder (University of Manchester) will conduct attributional and consequential life cycle analyses to more fully account for effects on the net carbon balance and other greenhouse gas fluxes than in previous studies.

Dr Anna Harper, Prof Pierre Friedlingstein and Dr Emma Littleton (University of Exeter) supported by project partners at the Met Office, will undertake research using models of land use, carbon and the Earth system to explore the environmental implications and trade-offs of large scale BECCS.

Prof Brett Day, Prof Ian Bateman and Dr Amy Binner (University of Exeter) will use their model of UK land-use, policy and ecosystem services to make the first assessment of the effects and economic trade-offs inherent in our chosen scenarios at UK scale. 

Dr Jason Chilvers, Prof Andy Jordan, Dr Irene Lorenzoni and Dr Tim Rayner (University of East Anglia) will lead research into the social and governance-related uncertainties, implications and bottlenecks associated with the real world implementation of afforestation and BECCS at large scales.