Fundamentally rethinking carbon — and our approach to carbon removal

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Image: Fibonacci Blue

by Ugbaad Kosar, senior policy advisor

The inequity of the climate crisis

We are in a climate emergency and those that have contributed the least will be impacted the most. I distinctly remember the moment this concept of climate injustice hit home for me: in 2011, I watched a painful, multi-year drought unfold in the Horn of Africa while receiving almost daily updates about how my family — stewards of the Sub-Saharan lands — was facing unprecedented crop failures, pest outbreaks, and livestock die-off. Their lack of access to resources, expertise, or government support worsened the situation.

The climate emergency is here. And it is devastating.

The reality is, we don’t have to travel to remote communities in East Africa to see that adverse impacts of a warming climate are not felt equitably — there are plenty of examples right here in the US. Environmental justice (EJ) — a demand for a healthy and safe planet where people can live, work, play, and pray — has always been important but is now gaining mainstream recognition as a foundational component of all climate action. The EJ movement was borne out of a response to environmental racism and the disproportionate impacts of pollution on low-income and BIPOC communities. In 1991, the National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit established 17 principles of environmental justice. …

The DAC MAPP keeps you up to date on the most recent happenings in the world of DAC

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Image: Leon Overweel

View the DAC MAPP here.

A rapidly growing field

Direct air capture (DAC) is a young but fast-evolving domain, and one that will continue to undergo significant, continuous transformation in the immediate and long-term future.

Today, this change is being driven by a growing cast of global actors in the private sector, civil society, and research spheres. The sum total of their diverse and parallel efforts on the ground — present and future, incremental and disruptive — are collectively being made in service of one epically ambitious but simple objective: the massive acceleration of real-world DAC deployment in a timeframe that matters to the climate crisis. By mid-century, we will need to be drawing down 10 gigatons of CO2 per year. …

Carbon180's transition book establishes key actions for the White House and federal agencies to create equitable climate policy in the upcoming administration.

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Photo: René DeAnda

Below is the executive summary of Carbon180’s Transition Book: Priorities for Administrative Action on Carbon Removal in 2021+. Please direct any inquiries to

We are at the inflection point for stopping climate change. Growing public awareness and mobilization alongside increasingly devastating impacts from wildfires, hurricanes, and drought make clear that this moment is critically positioned for addressing the climate crisis. The next administration will need to take bold action in 2021 and beyond to drastically and swiftly reduce emissions across all sectors of the economy. …

What our (extremely arduous) journey to find carbon removal offsets tells us about the state of voluntary carbon markets today, and some ideas about how we can fix them.

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Photo: Anastasia Petrova

by Jane Zelikova, chief scientist

Since our start five years ago, we have at several points tried to purchase carbon removal credits to offset our emissions and do our small part in building demand for carbon removal. But every time we tried, we failed. Our experience illuminates broader issues with carbon offsets and we, and others, have some ideas for how to move forward in a productive way.

First, the “why”

Carbon removal is a climate necessity. Climate experts agree that climate mitigation will require the elimination of emissions as well as carbon removal (i.e. “negative emissions” or the extraction and durable storage of CO2 from the air) to the tune of a billion tons of CO2 per year in only a few decades. …

A four-part plan for corporate action on carbon removal

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Photo: Jakob Owens

by Noah Deich, executive director

It is increasingly clear that companies across industries will need to shift their climate commitments from net-zero to net-negative (i.e. removing more carbon from the atmosphere than they emit) to meet global climate goals. Fortunately, a number of companies are paving the way when it comes to integrating carbon removal into corporate climate action plans, shining a light for other companies looking to map a course forward on carbon removal. …

This bill would ensure coordination across federal agencies on carbon removal solutions.

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Photo: Matthew Henry

by Erin Burns, director of policy

Last Friday, Congresswoman Kuster, Congressman McKinley, and six other bipartisan members of Congress dropped the CREATE Act, a bipartisan (and now bicameral) bill that would ensure there is coordination across federal agencies on all carbon removal solutions. This coordination is key — to meet climate goals, we’re going to need to see billions of tons of carbon removed from the atmosphere through technological and natural solutions. Doing this well will require a robust multiagency, economy-wide effort and large-scale policy. …

The next federal stimulus package must center rural communities and leverage environmental co-benefits

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Photo: Unsplash

By Giana Amador, managing director

Rooted in Resilience details key policies for inclusion in the next federal stimulus package that emphasize building resilience in rural communities through climate-forward action.

The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic will reverberate through US communities for years to come. Lockdown orders and heightened safety risks have stunted trade, impeded workforces, and disrupted supply chains. At the same time, rural communities face another challenge — their livelihoods are inextricably linked with the climate, and the increase in severe weather like floods, fires, and droughts as a result of climate change have combined disastrously with COVID-19.

My hometown, Turlock, CA, lies at the nexus of these impacts. Known to few, Turlock is an agricultural powerhouse — it is located in a top ag producing county in the country’s top ag producing state (California’s agriculture industry grossed over $50B in revenue in 2019). And yet despite these strengths, California’s agriculture economy and the communities connected to it have been under threat for years. Increased temperatures and long-lasting droughts have left many farmers high and dry, forced to switch the type of crops they produce, pull dead almond trees from their orchards, or pay exorbitant prices for water. Farmworkers pick our food under record summer temperatures and smoke from nearby wildfires exacerbates already poor air quality and poses significant health risks to an area with already high asthma rates. COVID-19 has sped up a reckoning on its way to California’s Central Valley and so many other rural communities across the country. …

The Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act includes crucial funding for CDR

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Photo: Luca Bravo

By Dr. Shuchi Talati, senior policy advisor

As a scientist by training, I rarely make sweeping statements without careful examination of the evidence. Today I can say with confidence that the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, which passed the House last Thursday, would be by far the most significant step on carbon removal in the United States to date. Over the course of my career, I’ve worked on many different aspects of climate change mitigation, from the indisputable science to policy we desperately need. …

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Photo: Grimes

Climate change can be fixed. Donate to Carbon180 in just two clicks or learn about what we do.

Artist and musician Grimes has partnered with eBay and Maccarone Gallery to release an exclusive sale of artworks benefiting your friendly neighborhood carbon removal NGO, Carbon180. We couldn’t be more thrilled that Grimes has chosen to highlight carbon removal through this initiative.

Three fellows walk into an NGO…

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Photo: Andy Feliciotti

By Ugbaad Kosar, senior policy advisor

The Carbon180 Senior Policy Fellowship is a year-long program for those with deep technical expertise who are new to policy. Over the next 12 months, fellows will tackle some of the biggest obstacles facing carbon removal and work to develop and socialize ambitious policy ideas that will enable carbon removal solutions to scale over the coming decade.

Much of the first few months of 2020 was spent preparing for the start of our Senior Policy Fellowship. We workshopped seating arrangements in anticipation of new office mates, finalized our job description, and shared our posting to any job board, university portal, and friend that we could reach. The program was broadly established: we anticipated frequent trips to the Hill, were ready to attend events and conferences across the country, and planned to host a summit to highlight the work of our fellows. Just as the first applications began landing in my inbox in March, stay-at-home orders swept the nation. …



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