Towards Industry, Policy, and Civil Society Action on Carbon Removal

Conference Dates

May 22-26, 2017


The Center for Carbon Removal (CCR) is a new NGO that recently spun out of the UC Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute with the mission of catalyzing industry and policy action aimed at accelerating the development of carbon removal solutions. CCR takes a technology-agnostic approach to carbon removal, and supports the exploration of a portfolio of carbon removal solutions in the land use (e.g. forest restoration, soil carbon, biochar) and industrial (e.g. bioenergy + CCS, direct air capture + sequestration, enhanced CO2 mineralization) sectors. The goal of CCR is to help translate leading academic research in this space into effective industry and policy action around carbon removal by acting as an independent intermediary between researchers and technology developers on the one hand, and government and industry leaders on the other. Towards this end, CCR conducts industry and policy analysis to explore pathways for leaders in these sectors to support carbon removal solutions most effectively. In addition, CCR convenes key stakeholders across the academic, business, finance, government, and NGO sectors to get input on the highest value industry and policy actions around carbon removal, as well as how to communicate important information about carbon removal most effectively. With this information, CCR designs and implements communications campaigns aimed at increasing awareness and interest in carbon removal among industry and policy leaders. Over the past two years of operation, CCR has learned a number of lessons about industry and policy action that will inform its future activities relevant to advancing pathways for CCUS deployment more generally, and this presentation will explore two related topics. First, it will present some early lessons learned through CCR project work. For example, CCR has found that industry and policy efforts around carbon removal are starting from a very basic understanding of, and a very low level of support for this topic more generally. In addition, CCR has found that there can be substantial interest in carbon removal solutions from industry and policymakers when successful case studies are presented – even if these case studies are not fully carbon-negative (but related low-carbon activities such as fossil CCUS and/or direct air capture to fuel synthesis). Second, this presentation will discuss what CCR sees as the biggest barriers to action for advancing industry and policy efforts around carbon removal in the future, and what types of projects CCR plans to implement over the coming years to enable adequate research, development, and demonstration of carbon removal solutions. These barriers include funding for R&D, markets to support early projects, and investor/donor awareness of the opportunities around early carbon removal projects. In particular, we will discuss some of the activities we have planned to amplify efforts such as the US National Academies of Sciences and UK Natural Environment Research Council research efforts around carbon removal solutions. This will include a discussion of relevant policy analysis at the state, national, and Federal level, and of the communications campaigns that we are planning. The goal of this work is to inspire more champions from industry and policy arenas to support carbon removal projects, and will require significant collaboration with academic stakeholders to succeed.

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