September 2021

VIDEO: Why Removals Need Attention Now from Destinations and Travel Companies

Your Questions Answered

In this short clip, recorded during the "Bringing About a Carbon Free Travel Future" in the Tomorrow’s Travel track at the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s 2021 World Summit, Eli Mitchell-Larson (due to technical difficulties appearing as Andrew McEvoy) of Oxford University explains why focusing on carbon removals now, in addition to reduction strategies is important.

Eli emphasizes the importance of taking advantage of emissions reductions opportunities available and then further shares that beyond this there is a strong case to be made - as elaborated in The Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting - for  transitioning toward removals.

He suggests that for people “buying carbon credits, a portfolio that increasingly shifts in the direction of carbon removal” is the best strategy. He then shares some of the key challenges and advantages to focusing on removals:

First, the challenges:

  1. Most offsets available are still avoided emission carbon credits. 
  2. Some of the common forms of removals such as soil carbon sequestration and reforestation for example, are still refining how they verify the amount of carbon removed and vouching for the credibility of that quantification.
  3. Some of the newer options are very supply constrained, and expensive 

Advantages:

  1. Removals tell a very clear story: they offer a way of restoring the atmosphere to its previous state. They allow for, eventually, addressing past emissions. As he notes, “If we could deliver net zero emissions, and be at a steady state, well then we could start removing more carbon than we’re emitting. That’s what we hope some destinations and travel companies will be able to do in the not too distant future.”
  2. Many of these technologies are relatively new in terms of being commercialized, and they need support. Companies and travelers who are making these commitments are helping advance down-costing and the state of the art. 

Learn the full story when you view the video, recorded during the Carbon Free Travel Future in the Tomorrow’s Travel track at the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s 2021 World Summit in partnership with Hokkaido, Japan.

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