On Thursday, February 8th, the Institute of Responsible Carbon Removal convened a brown-bag presentation and discussion featuring Dr. Sara Nawaz, the Director of Research at American University’s Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy. Dr. Nawaz delivered a presentation entitled “Marine-Based Carbon Dioxide Removal: Promise and Peril,” which was moderated by Dr. Simon Nicholson. The session provided an insightful overview of emerging geoengineering and ocean-based carbon capture technologies, delving into both their potential benefits and risks.
While many of these technologies remain in the conceptual phase, significant progress is being made, prompting decisions on where to allocate investment. Notably, the Biden-Harris administration recently announced up to US$1.2 billion towards the nation’s first direct air capture demonstration projects in Texas and Louisiana.
Dr. Nawaz’s presentation underscored the need to consider a broad spectrum of social issues, including concerns around environmental justice, equitable distribution of impacts, community engagement, ethical dilemmas inherent in environmental intervention, and the complex trade-offs associated with deploying such technologies. These insights shed light on the multifaceted challenges surrounding the deployment of carbon removal technologies and their implications for global CO2 emissions reduction efforts and highlight the need for social science in early development stages.