Washington, D.C.– A new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center and Energy Futures Initiative finds that historical federal investments in carbon removal technologies fall far short of the funding levels a recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) assessment indicated are necessary to drive technology advances to meet international emissions reduction targets and avoid the worst effects of climate change.
In 2018, NASEM called on the U.S. federal government to make significant research investments across a portfolio of six carbon removal and enabling technologies to achieve international emission reduction targets. The latest BPC and EFI report finds that historical funding levels in all six of these technologies lag well behind the NASEM-recommended levels. This new analysis shows that the federal government has underinvested in technological forms of carbon removal like direct air capture and carbon mineralization – approaches that each have nearly unlimited carbon removal capacity. BPC and EFI find that past federal spending on direct air capture and carbon mineralization research add up to less than 1 percent and 4 percent respectively of the future funding needs to advance these technologies.
“Government has played a key role in driving advances in many of the technologies we enjoy today through strong and sustained research investments,” said Jason Grumet, president of the Bipartisan Policy Center. “It is crucial that we continue to invest in research at the level needed to capture the economic and competitiveness benefits associated with pioneering the next generation of better and cleaner advanced technologies including carbon removal.”
“We are far from a clean energy trajectory that would meet the Paris Agreement goal of global warming less than 2 degrees Centigrade,” said former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. “We need to invest in large-scale carbon management. This is not a simple agenda—it will require fundamental science breakthroughs and great dedication, but this is an obligation we must embrace now if we are to meet our climate goals.”