In 2018 as part of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme the European Commission put out a call for proposal aimed at “Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future: climate action in support of the Paris Agreement”. Proposals were invited to address a number of specific topics including one on “Negative emissions and land-use based mitigation assessment”, which had two sub-topics on “Feasibility of negative emissions for climate stabilisation” and “Land-based mitigation”. The OceanNETs consortium addressed former sub-topic on the feasibility of negative emissions.
Proposed projects were asked to address the following topics: “Actions should assess the potential, effectiveness, efficiency, risks and costs of existing and emerging negative emission technologies and practices for climate stabilisation and their impact on: land, subsurface, water, oceans and other resources, bio-diversity, human safety, food security, ecosystems and their ability to deliver services to society, including implications for resilience, sustainability, feedbacks on climate and the global carbon cycle, and other relevant issues. Actions should also cover the issue of public acceptance and explore the international governance requirements associated with large-scale deployment of negative emission technologies and practices.“
While it is clear that more knowledge is needed on both land- and ocean-based NETs, much less research had been conducted on ocean-based NETs at the time of the call. Therefore, the OceanNETs consortium was formed to propose a research project on ocean-based NETs.