Champions and skeptics alike gathered last week to explore the entire portfolio of carbon removal pathways. Here’s what you missed.

Last week, Carbon180 hosted a webinar titled Zero, Then Negative, spun out of our eponymous congressional policy blueprint. We welcomed an expert panel of the boldest thinkers in carbon removal, including Microsoft’s carbon program manager Elizabeth Willmott, Stripe’s head of climate Nan Ransohoff, Carbon180’s deputy director of policy Ugbaad Kosar, and the Department of Energy’s principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy and carbon management Dr. Jennifer Wilcox. We heard Senator Martin Heinrich’s (D — NM) call for research and policies that support not only net-zero goals, but net-negative climate action.

The panelists discussed how to scale a variety of…

The popular bipartisan bill — which just passed in the Senate — is a reminder that we need to better understand soil carbon sequestration

Image: Chris Ensminger

by Giana Amador, co-founder and policy director

As extreme temperatures and severe drought bombard farmers across the US, S.1251, the Growing Climate Solutions Act, passed last week in the Senate. With a vote of 92–8, the bill represents rare bipartisan alignment on climate and agriculture and will move onto a House vote. Senator Debbie Stabenow and Senator Mike Braun’s impressive leadership not only garnered the support of their colleagues but also endorsements from environmental NGOs and agribusiness groups alike. This is a first step towards incentivizing the adoption of soil carbon sequestration, a key solution to fight climate change and…

Carbon removal can be found throughout the budget, and we’ve got an agency-by-agency breakdown

Image: David Everett Strickler

by Giana Amador, policy director

Our team has been busy parsing through the pages of the FY22 budget and justifications, identifying funding for carbon removal across federal agencies. From here, Congress will choose how to fulfill this budget through the appropriations process. The budget is ambitious and showcases the role carbon removal can play in the climate fight. One big thing? Carbon removal has a dedicated budget line at the Department of Energy — the first time it’s been called out at this level. Beyond that, there are increases in funding for a range of carbon removal approaches across agencies.

Let’s not lose the forest for the trees

Image: Ben Neale

by Maya Glicksman, policy advisor and Ugbaad Kosar, deputy director of policy

As technological carbon removal has garnered widespread attention, one response resurfaces again and again: Why complicate climate solutions with expensive, experimental technology when Earth’s most efficient carbon removal machines already exist in nature? Why not just plant more trees?

While we understand the uncertainty that comes with any burgeoning technologies, it’s risky to paint any approach (even trees!) as a silver bullet solution. In fact, an oversimplified “this-or-that” mentality can do more harm than good — it shuts down nuanced conversations, ignores the complexity of different CDR pathways…

Image: Kristina Volgenau

The FY22 President’s Budget is a milestone for federal investment in carbon removal. There is funding across multiple agencies — including the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Department of Interior (DOI) — to support and scale multiple carbon removal pathways, as well as money for procurement of low carbon materials. This is the first time we’ve seen carbon removal called out at this level and the first time this field has had a dedicated budget line.

Importantly, this funding for carbon removal is oriented around meeting ambitious climate goals. We’re also excited to see the most significant discretionary investment from any administration in environmental justice; equity and justice should be at the center of any major climate and carbon removal effort.

— Erin Burns, executive director

Update: Find our full analysis of the budget here.

Three ways to bring land-based carbon removal to life in an infrastructure package

Image: European Environment Agency

by Giana Amador, policy director, and Ugbaad Kosar, deputy director of policy

Climate conversations have been inundated with a debate over what should be considered infrastructure. Bridges and water treatment systems come to mind for most. However, a paradigm shift at the federal level is quickly gaining traction — a more expansive (and equitable) approach to infrastructure found in Biden’s American Jobs Plan which ties in electric car charging stations, bolsters wrap-around services, and calls for investments into next-generation climate technologies. …

What does it take to found a carbon removal startup?

Image: Alex Knight

by Peter Minor, EIR fellowship manager

After one year, seven carbon removal business plans, several company launches, more than ten technical jobs created, and thousands of tons of CO2 pulled from the atmosphere, the Carbon180 Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) fellowship has come to a close.

When we first conceived of a carbon removal entrepreneur fellowship two years ago, the field was nothing like the burgeoning landscape we see grabbing headlines and big checks today. But we could envision how an explosion of new CDR innovation would supercharge our policy efforts, signaling to the federal government the formation of a new industry and…

Today, we’re launching our congressional blueprint, a guide to the next 1–3 years of carbon removal policy.

The carbon removal field has undergone incredible transformation in the last five years. What began as a highly niche and neglected set of climate solutions has since become a core component of climate action, with growing recognition from an ever-broader coalition of one simple fact: We simply cannot meet our global climate goals without carbon removal. To solve the climate crisis, we must push past zero and get to negative. Building upon recent progress, Congress has a singular opportunity to catalyze the next wave of transformation for carbon removal.

This report outlines the key actions Congress should take over the…

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. …


A new breed of climate-focused NGO working to build a world that removes more carbon than it emits. Newsletters 👉

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store