Every dialogue starts with a great question. Over the next few months, Carbon Gap will be discussing some of the biggest questions surrounding the responsible scale up of carbon dioxide removal. How can it be scaled up as science indicates is necessary without doing ecological or social harm? How to ensure that it doesn’t detract from urgent emission cuts? What safeguards are needed to prevent bad faith actors using it as a smokescreen for climate inaction? Should soil carbon be commodified in the pursuit of net zero? Who should pay for carbon dioxide removal? Are voluntary global carbon markets the answer? 

Every month we will examine one topic in depth, creating a platform for perspectives from activists, scientists, analysts, policymakers and government representatives in a series of webinars and publications, with the aim of moving the conversation forward, towards solutions.

February – Justice-centred governance

As carbon removal methods mature, many justice-related questions come to the fore. How should the responsibility of removing carbon dioxide be divided across countries? In what ways is carbon removal a burden or benefit, and how should these be distributed? Can CDR be used as an effective instrument for reparative climate justice? In what ways could CDR drive or perpetuate the injustices that led to global heating, and how can we safeguard against that? These are all huge questions that deserve more airtime in CDR governance conversations.

This month, Carbon Gap is doing a deep-dive on procedural justice. Specifically, we’re thinking about community engagement at the local level, where CDR projects are deployed. To better understand how governments can help local stakeholders and companies navigate effective and just engagement, we interviewed CDR companies for their opinion. In doing so, we identified key opportunities for government intervention to help CDR grow in a procedurally just way.

January – A comparative outlook for 2024

Looking into 2024, we take a look at how CDR is being deployed across the world. What policies are the US, Canada and the EU proposing to fast-track CDR technologies? How can we learn from each other to ensure we meet the common goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees?

This month, we asked key policy-makers and analysts their views on carbon removal policies on both sides of the pond. We examine each region’s current policy landscape and the gaps in their approach to carbon removal. In doing so, we aim to identify means to connect CDR policies and stakeholders on both sides of the pond and support international policy progress.

Watch the recording of the 17 January 2024 webinar, during which we delved into how to scale-up carbon removal on a global scale.

December – Let’s talk COP28

COP28 has resulted in a Global Stocktake that signals that the world should replace fossil fuels with clean energy by 2050 for global net zero. From the perspective of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR), which is of course Carbon Gap’s focus, there were numerous talks that addressed this subject in far more detail than has been seen at previous COPs – interest in the field is certainly growing. We hosted and participated in a number of events discussing how to fund carbon removal and deploy it at scale 

November – Who pays for net zero?

In the lead up to COP, we ask, who should pay for net zero? Should oil and gas producers pay to clean up their pollution? We focus on the discussions proposed in our recent publication “Who Pays for Net Zero” and take a look at some of the key polluter-pays articles in the Net Zero Industry Act.

October – Soil Carbon

A Carbon Gap analysis reveals two central tensions at the heart of emerging EU soil governance. Should Europe’s soil carbon gap be bridged through market or regulatory approaches? Should Europe’s farmland transition to regenerative practices or scale intensive agriculture? We brought together eloquent advocates with contrasting views to elucidate the key debates in soil carbon governance today. This webinar was held on 31 Oct, 2o23.

Our speakers:

  • Andrew Voysey – Soil Capital
  • Jessica Zionts – University of Oxford
  • Jean Thevenot – European Coordination Via Campesina
  • Robin Webster – Global Strategic Communications Council

 

September – Mitigation Deterrence

Steep emission cuts are the number one priority in fighting climate change but science says that large-scale carbon dioxide removal will also needed to meet global climate targets. However, in some cases, its deployment may risk delaying or stopping emissions reductions. Such cases are commonly referred to as “mitigation deterrence” or “moral hazard”. This September we’re looking into what can be done to ensure that carbon removal does not carry this risk. 

We explored this topic in depth in a discussion paper, which we published with a webinar on 27 September, 16:30-17:30 CEST.