This week, we’re bringing you a panel discussion from the Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy’s annual CDR conference. Our policy panelist, Wil Burns, hosted the conference and led this panel discussion on the role of mandates in growing CDR in the US.
The US government has stepped forward into the role of subsidizing and encouraging CDR in recent years, offering a ‘carrot’ to promote the new industry, in the form of large grants and tax incentives. But what could the government do to present a ‘stick’- requiring CDR using existing regulations?
That’s the topic of this policy panel featuring Dan Galpern, the Executive Director of the Climate Protection and Restoration Initiative, and Stephanie Arcusa, a researcher at the Arizona State University Center for Negative Carbon Emissions.
Dan spoke about using the Toxic Substances Control Act to regulate carbon emissions, including the possibility of mandating carbon dioxide removal as a condition for allowing ongoing emissions. He argues that the TSCA provides clear authority for such regulation, citing past precedents and legal interpretations.
Stephanie discusses the concept of a Carbon Take Back Obligation, which would require fossil fuel producers to sequester a ton of carbon for every ton they extract. This policy aims to gradually transition to net-zero emissions by creating a demand for carbon removal and applying the policy upstream in the fossil fuel supply chain.
Both approaches aim to address the challenges of scaling up carbon removal and mitigating climate change, but they also raise questions about political feasibility, environmental justice, and the impact on consumers, particularly those in lower-income households.
We hope you enjoy this high-level look at the policy levers that may one day lead to the scaling up of CDR.
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