Communities must actively co-design which carbon removal solutions we pursue, in what ways, and to which extents

Image: Mike Bowman

by Vanessa Suarez, senior policy advisor

My love for the vibrant people and unique geography of Fresno, California, my hometown, has largely shaped my climate journey. Fresno is many things — an agricultural powerhouse, helping feed over a quarter of the country; a gateway to the Sierra Nevadas, home to Yosemite National Park and giant sequoias; a melting pot of cultures, including Mexican, Hmong, Japanese, and Armenian communities; and California’s biggest little city. Life can be difficult in Fresno, but Fresnans are resilient and proud of where we’re from, creating a sense of community no matter where we go. But…

Biomass has a complicated history, but new research shows it can be a powerful climate solution

Image: Pascal Bernardon

by Meron Tesfaye, PhD, senior policy fellow

I began working on a biomass-based climate solution during an interesting time for the field. In 2013, I was a graduate student planning to join a growing body of biofuel and bioenergy researchers to quantify biomass resources. But it was during this time that much of the academic chatter around biofuels began to change. …

In latest request for public comment, it appears the USDA is ready to lead — here’s what we recommend

Image: Immo Wegmann

US forests and agricultural systems represent valuable carbon sinks, pulling carbon from the atmosphere to nourish trees and plants while helping to mitigate climate change. How can we scale durable and just carbon removal solutions that double as opportunities for economic growth, ecosystem restoration, and overall community resilience? The USDA asked and we answered. Last month, the agency published a request for public comment, and thousands of statements from farmworkers rights organizations, climate advocates, and nonprofits like us have been published…

Tax credits can help launch DAC projects beyond RD&D

Image: Carlos Alberto Gómez Iñiguez

By Lucia Simonelli, PhD, senior policy fellow and Rory Jacobson, policy consultant

ESIC Act, meet direct air capture

This week’s discussion draft release of the bipartisan Energy Sector Innovation Credit (ESIC) Act of 2021 led by Senator Crapo and Senator Whitehouse is good news for direct air capture (DAC), a key technological carbon removal solution. DAC has the potential to reach gigaton capacity by 2050 but is currently orders of magnitude away. Only with robust, timely, and thoughtful policy action can we catalyze this technology to reach its potential in the coming decades.

One of the most significant barriers to scaling DAC is cost. While recent…

With three core areas of focus, the President has an eye towards CDR

Image: Micheile Henderson

by Giana Amador, policy director

Last Friday, the Biden administration released their high-level budget request to Congress, which details the administration’s high-level priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. Unsurprisingly, they went big on climate, requesting $8 billion at DOE for climate solutions alongside a suite of other climate-driven requests across agencies. But what stood out to us was that carbon removal — for the first time ever — was featured in a major way. These requests come on the heels of the American Jobs Plan and a series of legislative wins that together highlight carbon removal’s rise as a growing…

Image: Srikanta H. U

We have an unprecedented opportunity to jumpstart a thriving, just, and equitable economy that removes more carbon than it emits — the budget request released today by the Biden administration is an essential first step in realizing this opportunity. In particular, the emphasis on investments in key science needs for soil carbon sequestration and a revitalization of the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management with call outs to direct air capture and industrial decarbonization represent historic support for carbon removal across solutions.

Last year, we released a transition book that detailed dozens of recommendations for the incoming administration. We’re…

How 45Q can catalyze equitable DAC development and deployment

Image: Andy Feliciotti

by Erin Burns, executive director and Rory Jacobson, policy consultant

The 45Q tax credit could receive an update and expansion with the drop of yesterday’s bipartisan bill, which includes an increase in the credit value specifically for direct air capture (DAC). In a few weeks, we’ll be releasing our largest ever set of federal policy recommendations for scaling carbon removal, but seeing many of our priorities reflected in this bill got us excited to give a sneak peek of our thinking on how 45Q can catalyze equitable DAC development and deployment.

A little background

In 2018, the 45Q tax credit was updated to…

And that’s great news for the fight against climate. Blossoming innovation offers hope for rapidly advancing carbon removal solutions.

Image: SpaceX

by Noah Deich, president

Elon’s prize is just the beginning when it comes to driving much-needed innovation and transformation in the carbon removal field.

First, what’s the deal with Elon’s $100M carbon removal prize?

Prizes have long captured the imagination of billionaire carbon removal philanthropists (see Richard Branson’s Virgin Earth Challenge from 2007). But where previous efforts have fizzled, Elon’s effort sounds very promising: as I mentioned to Bloomberg, the XPRIZE team administering the prize is highly knowledgeable about carbon removal, experienced with prize execution, and have been very deliberate about incorporating a wide range of stakeholders’ input in their prize design. …

We’re talking hundreds of millions dedicated to scaling up soil carbon, DAC, and so much more.

Image: Giorgio Trovato

by Vanessa Suarez, senior policy advisor

Towards the end of December, Congress passed H.R.133 — a massive omnibus spending bill containing $900 billion for COVID-19 relief, $1.4 trillion for fiscal year 2021 (FY21) appropriations, and new authorizations. As we’ve written before, federal funding is vital for advancing the full suite of carbon removal solutions, from ready-to-deploy approaches like forestry to more nascent technologies like direct ocean capture.

How we got here

In the past two years, carbon removal has started to receive meaningful levels of dedicated funding from Congress for the first time ever. In FY20, Congress began following the recommendations of the National…

We’re making a few changes around the house — but don’t worry, these are some familiar faces.

Image: Matt Howard

When we moved our HQ to DC last year, it was in preparation for an opportunity like the one we now face: a Congress and new administration committed to acting on climate at a scale that will accelerate the US towards a carbon-removing future. With agencies grabbing up some of carbon removal’s brightest stars (including C180 alumni!), it’s clear that carbon removal is gaining mainstream momentum — and fast. …


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