25.10.2021

# Media

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Podcast: Carbon Removal Newsroom: Geoengineering vs. carbon removal, and California's Cement Decarbonization legislation

"This week on Carbon Removal Newsroom>, we’re back with a policy-focused episode with panelists Dr. Holly Jean Buck of the University at Buffalo Chris Barnard of the American Conservation Coalition and host Radhika Moolgavkar of Nori. First up, we’re discussing an essay from Harvard professor David Keith in the New York Times titled, “What’s the Least Bad Way to Cool the Planet?” Keith compares Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) and geoengineering, pointing out that the two approaches operate on different timescales— CDR will take decades to build up, and longer still to have a significant impact due to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Solar Radiation Management, a type of geoengineering, could be done with today's technology and theoretically has an immediate cooling effect. There is a lot we don't know but his ‘hunch’ is that geoengineering would work more quickly, be cheaper, and benefit the world’s hotter regions more immediately. He calls for governments to fund more research into the topic so the two techniques can be more accurately compared. We debate David Keith’s main points and Holly Buck describes the socio-technical systems that might be necessary to deploy geoengineering and larger-scale CDR most effectively. Next, we’re looking at the Cement Decarbonization legislation passed in California that mandates the state’s cement industry to become net-zero by 2045. According to the Climateworks Foundation’s Rebecca Dell, this is the first time any US state has required an industry to eliminate its net greenhouse gas emissions. Cement production is the second-largest emitter of any industry in California, after only oil and gas production, and it also contributes to significant local air pollution. While the greenhouse gas mitigation from this move is notable, this law also has the potential to provide needed policy support to the carbon removal and carbon utilization industries. We discuss the types of incentives that might be most successful in moving the needle on hard to abate emissions, then end the episode with a good news story of the week from Chris— Japan is restarting several aging nuclear reactors in an attempt to meet its carbon emissions goals."

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18.10.2021

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World Economic Forum: Why natural climate solutions are about much more than carbon

"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that 23% of greenhouse gas emissions come from land use and land-use change. Any credible pathway to net-zero must include ending deforestation and the degradation of natural ecosystems plus reducing emissions associated with agricultural production and food systems. In fact, most net-zero scenarios include significant “removals” of CO2 from the atmosphere via reforestation and ecosystem restoration.The way we use land will be doubly important over the next decade; not only because it has an impact on greenhouse gas emissions, but also because we need to offset emissions from sectors in which carbon reduction is more difficult and requires long-term technological transformation. The task of transforming the energy and land-use sectors in tandem will require supportive economic and social policy frameworks."

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18.10.2021

# Media

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Video: Can we remove carbon from the atmosphere? (True Planet)

"There is no ‘magic’ technology to solve climate change, says Professor Cameron Hepburn, Director and Professor of Environmental Economics at Oxford’s Smith School and director of the university’s Economics of Sustainability programme. ‘I wish there were,’ he says. ‘But we have to use all the existing tricks we have in the book as fast as possible to reduce emissions.’ Professor Hepburn emphasises there are some really interesting new technologies – and he thinks we should work to scale these up. In the meantime, he says, we already have some very old technology – the humble tree, which has been doing an important job for millennia – and is making a real contribution to reducing climate change. But Professor Hepburn says that right now, far from rewilding and restoring our ecosystems, we are deforesting and damaging nature with harmful agricultural practices. That needs to change. ‘Used together these various techniques...are going to make quite a big contribution to addressing climate change...what’s stopping us?’ Part of the problem, he says, is that somebody has to pay – and we need to talk about how to achieve that, without relying entirely on the taxpayer. But economics is only part of this, he says. We also need to think about a range of complex issues from politics to equity and beliefs – but, critically, the public needs to be on-board."

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18.10.2021

# Media

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Video: Recording: ICRLP 1st Annual Conference: Research Governance for Ocean-based CDR (Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy)

"Ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR) [1] is gaining interest among scientists, policymakers, and entrepreneurs as a strategy for reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to lessen anthropogenic climate change. Nevertheless, key questions remain unanswered about ocean-based CDR technologies, including: what is their additional carbon sequestration potential? How can we measure and verify long-term carbon sequestration? How will implementation impact the human and marine environment, and are these costs worth any proven carbon sequestration benefit? We must answer these questions before we can decide whether ocean-based CDR should be implemented at the gigaton scale. Consequently, responsible research should seek to answer these questions. Nevertheless, an ad hoc and ungoverned research agenda may itself lead to adverse environmental impacts, inequitable outcomes, and undue risk to communities and the ocean, which may subsequently erode social license and generate significant public opposition to ocean-based CDR. [2] We therefore propose a governance framework for ocean-based CDR research. Our framework aims to ensure that research is conducted in a manner that advances promising methods while eliminating excessively risky or unverifiable methods; facilitates public, rightsholder, and stakeholder engagement; and requires investigation of and transparency about risks to the human and marine environment."

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18.10.2021

# Media

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Video: Recording: ICRLP 1st Annual Conference_ Domestic Legal Framworks for Ocean CDR (Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy)

"Scientists are currently investigating a range of ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR) techniques which, if shown to be feasible, will need to be tested in situ in the open ocean. Previous in situ tests of one ocean CDR technique—ocean fertilization—were highly controversial, with many groups expressing concern about the apparent lack of oversight of the tests. Given this experience, and the growing interest in testing other approaches, many researchers and policy-makers are seeking to better understand the legal framework governing ocean CDR. Prior research has explored how existing international agreements and customary international law could apply to ocean CDR research and deployment. However, international agreements and customary international law generally do not impose binding obligations on private actors (e.g., individual and corporations). Those actors are subject only to the domestic laws of the country in whose territory, or under whose jurisdiction, they are operating. Further, domestic law in many cases impose rules and regulations beyond those required by international law. It is, therefore, essential for researchers and others involved in ocean CDR projects to understand the applicable domestic laws. This panel will feature legal academics from the U.S. and Europe to discuss how existing domestic laws in their countries could apply to the testing and deployment of different ocean CDR techniques (including ocean fertilization, ocean alkalinity enhancement, artificial upwelling and downwelling, and seaweed cultivation). Key gaps and shortcomings in existing laws will be identified and possible reforms explored."

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18.10.2021

# Media

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Reuters: EXCLUSIVE White House, top Democrats agree to boost carbon capture credit in budget bill -sources

"The White House and top Democratic lawmakers have agreed to boost a tax credit for industrial carbon capture projects in a deal that could help solidify support for the budget reconciliation bill at the heart of President Joe Biden's economic agenda, two sources with knowledge of the matter said."

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08.09.2021

# Political Papers

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Romany M. Webb, et al. (2021): Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement and Seaweed Cultivation. Legal Challenges and Opportunities. Columbia Law School: Sabin Centre for Climate Change Law

Romany M. Webb, Korey Silverman-Roati (2021): Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement and Seaweed Cultivation. Legal Challenges and Opportunities. Columbia Law School: Sabin Centre for Climate Change Law. New York. Available online at https://climate.law.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/content/Webb%20et%20al%20-%20Removing%20CO2%20Through%20Ocean%20Alkalinity%20Enhancement%.

"This paper explores two ocean-based carbon dioxide removal strategies—ocean alkalinity enhancement and seaweed cultivation. Ocean alkalinity enhancement involves adding alkalinity to ocean waters, either by discharging alkaline rocks or through an electrochemical process, which increases ocean pH levels and thereby enables greater uptake of carbon dioxide, as well as reducing the adverse impacts of ocean acidification. Seaweed cultivation involves the growing of kelp and other macroalgae to store carbon in biomass, which can then either be used to replace more greenhouse gas-intensive products or sequestered. This paper examines the international and U.S. legal frameworks that apply to ocean alkalinity enhancement and seaweed cultivation. Depending on where they occur, such activities may be subject to international, national, state, and/or local jurisdiction."

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24.06.2021

# New Publications

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Reynolds, Jesse L. (2021): Solar Geoengineering Could Be Consistent with International Law

Reynolds, Jesse L. (2021): Solar Geoengineering Could Be Consistent with International Law. In Benoit Mayer, Alexander Zahar (Eds.): Debating Climate Law. [S.l.]: Cambridge University Press, pp. 257–273.

"This chapter debates the consistency of the deployment of Solar Radiation Management (SRM) with international law."

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10.06.2021

# New Publications

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Corbett, Charles (2020): Chemtrails and Solar Geoengineers: Governing Online Conspiracy Theory Misinformation

Corbett, Charles (2020): Chemtrails and Solar Geoengineers: Governing Online Conspiracy Theory Misinformation. In Missouri Law Review 85 (3). Available online at https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol85/iss3/5.

"This Article assesses legal obstacles to regulating chemtrail misinformation and proposes responses that work within prevailing norms and laws governing online speech."

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31.05.2021

# New Publications

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Wilson, Brooke (2021): Past the Tipping Point, but With Hope of Return: How Creating a Geoengineering Compulsory Licensing Scheme Can Incentivize Innovation

Wilson, Brooke (2021): Past the Tipping Point, but With Hope of Return: How Creating a Geoengineering Compulsory Licensing Scheme Can Incentivize Innovation. In Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice 27 (2), p. 791. Available online at https://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/crsj/vol27/iss2/13.

"This Note explores the patenting of geoengineering technologies and issues arising from the early stages of this high-risk, high-reward technology. This Note focuses on one possible solution to solving the issues surrounding the patenting of geoengineering technology: Creating a specialized compulsory licensing scheme."

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