NET ZERO Day of the four RIs at EmpaCooperative research to combat CO2 emissions
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges humanity is facing. It requires an approach, in which competences and capacities in research are combined across Switzerland to develop solutions for a transformation of our society towards net zero CO2 emissions.
In a first step, the four research institutes (4RIs) of the ETH Domain – Empa, PSI, Eawag and WSL – organized a NET ZERO Day on 4 October 2021 at Empa to exchange knowledge about ongoing research within the 4RIs, initiate and strengthen networks among researchers from all institutes, and identify opportunities for new collaborations. The event was held in a hybrid format with almost 100 participants on-site at Empa in Dübendorf and 130 online participants.
The program was structured along three main topics:
- AVOID: Measures to avoid or reduce the emission of greenhouse gases
- REMOVE: Measures to recover greenhouse gases (mainly CO2) from the atmosphere as well as reuse and storage of CO2
- ASSESS: Monitoring and modelling of emissions and socio-economic aspects
For each topic, an overview about the challenges and ongoing research activities in the 4RIs was first given. In a second part, potential future research topics and opportunities for collaboration were discussed in a World Café format.
The NET ZERO Day was a first step towards identifying synergies and future collaborations among the ETH Domain's research institutes. First common themes that have surfaced are for example life cycle analyses, batteries, synthetic fuels, data and multi-scale simulations. In working groups on the topics AVOID, REMOVE and ASSESS the themes will now be further defined.
To tackle the manifold challenges towards solutions for a net zero society and in view of an expected launch of a call for joint initiatives in this area by the Board of the ETH Domain, the NET ZERO Day was a successful launch of interdisciplinary cooperation between the 4RIs.