The primary cause of global warming is the release of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. To limit global warming to 1.5°C, we need to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The OceanNETs H2020-funded project focused on determining to what extent, and under what conditions, the large-scale deployment of ocean-based negative emission technologies could contribute to removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by using the ocean as a natural carbon sink.
OceanNETs have the potential to be an important tool in the fight against climate change. These Negative Emission Technologies (NETs) could help remove carbon dioxide (CDR) from the atmosphere and reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. Many of the CDR processes investigated to date are land-based, as highlighted in a recent science-policy brief conducted by OceanNETs and the research mission CDRMare following the event organized at the European Parliament on "Achieving climate neutrality and the Paris Agreement goals: Opportunities for ocean-based methods of carbon dioxide removal (CDR)" on 25 October 2022. Additionally, the same brief indicates that ocean-based approaches and processes are being increasingly explored.
The gaps in the scientific community on the potential environmental impacts of the NETs technologies, and the need for more research to fully understand their effectiveness and potential risks, are at the inception of the OceanNETs project. It is important, however, to prioritize reducing greenhouse gas emissions as the primary way to address climate change and to use OceanNETs only as a supplement to these efforts.
For more information, please see the EU factsheet.
 David Keller, Sandra Ketelhake, Judith Meyer, Barbara Neumann, Andreas Oschlies, Alexander Proelß and Wilfried Rickels (2022): Achieving Climate Neutrality and Paris Agreement Goals: Opportunities for Ocean-Based Methods of Carbon Dioxide Removal, Science Policy Brief, DOI: 10.3289/cdrmare.oceannets_1