According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C, emissions reductions alone will not suffice, and that large-scale carbon dioxide removal (CDR) will be necessary. A growing body of practitioners is looking to the ocean’s role in CDR; however, most proposals are still in either lab-based stages or small-scale field testing. As interest from private and public investors grows, there is an increasing need to improve our scientific understanding of the potential environmental, ecological, and societal implications of each proposed strategy at scale, and to communicate these findings to policymakers to support informed decision-making.
OST will draw upon our extensive experience in coalition-building with key state and civil society partners, and our deep science network, to assemble the necessary experts to guide the state as it begins to explore effective mCDR policies. Identifying mCDR strategies with the most promise of achieving California’s climate and ecosystem protection goals will require socializing the latest scientific understanding with state lawmakers and navigating the state’s regulatory landscape. OST will leverage its unique connections to the State to engage with California’s natural resource agencies and the legislature to elevate awareness and understanding.
To further support this goal, OST is also organizing “educational tours” of several mCDR research and pilot test sites along the coast to provide an opportunity for state lawmakers to engage directly with researchers and to highlight the promising research and remaining gaps and future challenges.
We are also co-organizing a series of informational webinars on mCDR with the California Current Acidification Network and Alaska Ocean Acidification Network, to create a direct dialogue among industry members, tribes, natural resource managers, and scientists within the California Current and Alaska Ecosystems. The first webinar, titled “Overview of marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR) science, policy, and decision-making” was held on June 23, and a recording is available here. Through these co-designed webinars, participants will gain a better understanding of mCDR technologies, limitations, risks, and learn how to become engaged.
This project began in April 2023 – please check back for project updates.