Given its potential importance to our environmental and economic future, BPC has convened an advisory council of industry, business, and policy leaders to explore the policy challenges and opportunities to advancing direct air capture technology – an innovative carbon removal approach that uses machines to remove carbon dioxide directly out of the atmosphere and store it safely underground or put it to commercial uses.
There is a growing global appetite for clean energy technologies and commercial products with reduced emissions, which present market opportunities where American businesses can get ahead. The U.S. needs to examine how to bring these to reality in a manner that mitigates climate risks and increases our economic growth. BPC’s Direct Air Capture Advisory Council aims to do this by focusing on the promising technology that can bridge these goals to enable removal of carbon from the atmosphere while also opening U.S. market opportunities.
Evidence suggests direct air capture has nearly unlimited CO2 removal capacity and would set an upper limit for the cost of climate mitigation, but as a nascent industry, the technology cost and efficiency must be improved for it to be deployed more broadly. A 2018 National Academies assessment recommended the United States make significant federal research investment in carbon removal approaches including direct air capture, but U.S. investments in energy research have declined in recent decades and are far below the level needed to drive rapid advances in this space. This risks undermining our ability to pioneer innovative technologies that can reduce carbon pollution while making the U.S. economy more efficient and competitive in emerging clean energy technology markets.
While existing technologies like energy efficiency, renewable energy, and battery storage are critical to addressing carbon pollution, they are insufficient on their own to achieve global emission reduction goals. Other technologies capable of removing already-emitted carbon dioxide directly out of the atmosphere will be needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
The leaders of BPC’s Direct Air Capture Advisory Council believe now is the time to explore how policies can help advance direct air capture to bolster U.S. technology leadership, make American consumers and business more competitive globally, and address hazardous carbon pollution.
Negative Emissions Technologies and Reliable Sequestration: A Research Agenda, National Academies
Michael J. Avery
President and General Manager, 1PointFive, LLC
“At 1PointFive, we are committed to delivering large-scale DAC solutions to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. We believe this deployment approach and our partnership with Carbon Engineering will support rapid, global deployment of DAC facilities to meet the urgency of the climate challenge and growing customer demand for DAC-enabled net-zero solutions. With support and leadership from the BPC’s Direct Air Capture Advisory Council, we can advance our shared goal of making large-scale DAC deployment a reality.”
Former Governor of Mississippi / BGR Group Founding Partner
“While I don’t advocate a carbon-free economy, markets and policies around the world are pushing toward a lower emission future; therefore, we should be investing in areas that put American industries on the strongest possible footing to lead in tomorrow’s advanced energy technologies. One of those opportunities is the development of direct air capture, a technology that reduces carbon emissions and could unlock enormous value in recycled carbon dioxide for applications such as enhanced oil recovery, manufacture of advanced materials or yet to be imagined uses.”
International Vice President at Large, United Steelworkers
“We are witnessing rapid changes in how we produce and consume energy and, as a result, are forced to confront new challenges in how to protect American workers and industries as well as environmental health. Direct air capture is an innovative technology that has the potential to mitigate carbon emissions from industries critical to our economy, many of which employ United Steelworkers members. This is a promising technology that warrants greater attention and I look forward to contributing to this group.”
Former U.S. Congressman from Florida
“I’m excited to work with the other members on the council to explore how government can play a role in facilitating the development of direct air capture technologies. In tandem with deployment of existing technologies like renewable energy, energy efficiency, and battery storage, I believe that direct air capture technology will play a critical role in allowing the United States to meet the decarbonization levels necessary to avoid the greatest risks of climate change.”
Former U.S. Senator from North Dakota
“The urgency of climate change requires deep reductions in carbon emissions. But even that will not fully address the crisis we face. We need to push aggressively on direct air capture technologies to meet the aggressive goals that are needed. I am convinced direct air capture can be a major contributor to meeting the climate change challenge.”
President, Global Energy Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
“Few predicted or planned for the ‘shale revolution’, yet a combination of early government research, industry innovation and risk-taking entrepreneurs led to the US being the largest producer of natural gas and oil, and greater use of natural gas has significantly reduced air emissions. There is no reason to believe a similar formula can’t make direct air capture another breakthrough, disruptive technology that helps us achieve our carbon reduction imperative.”
President, Global Thermostat
“When I started working on Direct Air Capture over a decade ago, I saw it as a useful tool for addressing climate change. But now it’s clear that it is far more than that — a critical linchpin for enabling carbon removal, a catalyst for a whole new industrial revolution, a key driver of equitable economic development. Achieving this vision is both necessary and possible, but it will take vigorous bi-partisan cooperation and broad societal engagement to make happen. I am thrilled to work with the BPC Advisory Council on one of the most important endeavors of our time.”
Co-Founder and Co- CEO, Climeworks
“Climeworks was founded on the commitment to create a solution that empowers everyone to act on climate change. Direct Air Capture (DAC) can play a significant role in achieving this and supports governments, companies, and individuals alike in reaching net-zero and avoiding the worst effects of climate change. DAC also opens up new avenues for green jobs, generating investments, and accelerating sustainable industrial transformation. I am therefore excited to be joining the BPC DAC Advisory Council and look forward to advancing DAC in collaboration with my fellow Council members.”
Executive Vice President & Executive Committee Member, Air Liquide Group Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc.
“Innovative low-carbon technologies and the development of technology like direct air capture will require the engagement and contributions of a diverse range of industries, including technology developers, operators and their key customers. I look forward to contributing my insight and perspective leading one of the foremost industrial gas companies in the Americas, to help inform the policy discussions of today that will ultimately guide the deployment of the low-carbon technologies of tomorrow.”
CEO, American Clean Power Association
“While speeding deployment of clean energy technologies is the top priority, removing past carbon emissions is essential for meeting our climate goals. The BPC Direct Air Capture Advisory Council plays a key role developing and promoting policies to scale essential and cost-effective DAC solutions.”
Founding Partner, AJW Inc.
“The council will define opportunities for government and industry collaboration to drive advances in direct air capture – a rapidly emerging technology. By supporting direct air capture, we can build on a long, successful history of global economic leadership in emission management technologies that make our industries and businesses more competitive in the global markets.”
Associate Director, Rhodium Group
“Every year that global emissions continue unabated, the required pace of future reductions accelerates, and the quantity of CO2 emissions that ultimately needs to be removed from the atmosphere grows. With the right policy and investment support to help it scale, direct air capture can play a pivotal role in balancing emissions, especially in hard-to-decarbonize sectors, and in helping to achieve global climate targets.”
Director, World Resources Institute United States
“Renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage are critical to reducing carbon emissions but on their own are insufficient to limiting dangerous temperature rise. It’s imperative that we develop and deploy technologies that remove carbon from the air like direct air capture to increase our ability to avoid the worst effects of climate change. We owe it to ourselves and our children to use every tool at our disposal.”
Former Executive Vice President, Edison Electric Institute
“I believe that grid transformation is essential to addressing and adapting to climate change, particularly increased reliance on renewable and clean energy sources and grid digitization to enhance resiliency for severe weather events. We need every tool at our disposal to tackle the climate crisis and negative emission technologies like direct air capture help mitigate risks to our critical energy infrastructure.”
Former U.S. Congressman from Maryland
“The IPCC tells us we will need negative emissions technologies, including direct air capture, to achieve net zero emissions. Incentives from government, combined with private sector investment and innovation, can lower the cost of DAC and create an enormous industry and good paying jobs I look forward to working with the Council in support of pathways that enable direct air capture to be deployed at scale.”
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