Hezir on the future of carbon removal

Carbon dioxide removal is having a moment. Four years after the very first Department of Energy study on carbon dioxide removal (CDR), the industry ecosystem has transformed — for the better. A curiosity for carbon removal has erupted across all sectors as philanthropy, business, and governments turn to CDR in the fight against climate change. AirMiners, a coalition of organizations and individuals committed to accelerating the development of gigaton-scale carbon removal, is working to make carbon removal accessible to everyday people.

In May, AirMiners hosted a two-day conference titled Taking Flight: The Next Era of Carbon Removal Begins to discuss new ideas and opportunities for CDR. EFI Principal Joe Hezir participated in the event, delivering a keynote on EFI’s latest carbon removal reports and what the future of CDR might look like.

Most recently, EFI published Frontiers of CDR, a series of reports on critical yet understudied pathways for carbon removal, including technologically-enhanced terrestrial CDR, oceans-based CDR, and carbon mineralization. The series builds on, Clearing the Air, a 2019 report outlining a 10-year federal RD&D initiative estimated at $10.7 billion to bring innovative CDR technologies to commercial readiness, with minimal ecological impacts.

During his remarks, Hezir called for high-level collaboration across relevant federal agencies. A whole-of-government CDR initiative would extend beyond the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency — it would include 10 federal agencies and 27 offices or organizations within those agencies. According to our 2019 report, a comprehensive CDR RD&D innovation portfolio is needed to address all major technology pathways (DAC, terrestrial and biological, carbon mineralization, coastal and oceans). This includes CO2 disposition (geologic sequestration, carbon utilization) and cross-cutting programs (systems analysis, large-scale demonstration projects).

It’s an exciting time for carbon dioxide removal and it’s only just the beginning.

Watch Hezir’s full keynote here.

Claudia Prandoni

(Share this post with others.)