Ocean Carbon Removal w/ Wil Burns

Listen to the Episode...

In this week’s policy-focused episode of CRN, Radhika, and Chris are joined by one of the foremost authorities on the laws and policies which govern carbon removal: Wil Burns, Visiting Professor, Environmental Policy & Culture Program, Northwestern University & Emeritus Co-Executive Director of the Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy at American University.

Wil joins our hosts to discuss recent developments around ocean based CDR.

In December of 2021, the National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine released its much-anticipated report, which outlined a research agenda for ocean-based carbon removal. Ocean-based approaches have the theoretical potential to remove significant amounts of co2 from the atmosphere, and thus help fight climate change.

The authors outlined six carbon removal categories they found worthy of further research: Ocean Nutrient Fertilization, Artificial Upwelling, Seaweed Cultivation, Ecosystem Recovery, Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement, and Electrochemical Processes. Each was assessed by the researchers on several criteria, such as the existing knowledge base, efficacy, and governance and public acceptance considerations. Overall, NASEM found ocean CDR at the gigaton scale is possible and recommended a federal research budget of $850 million over the next five years.

Wil also provides a CDR update from the world of international diplomacy. The London Convention is a global treaty governing the disposal of wastes into the ocean. The 87 nations which have signed on to the agreement share a standard set of rules that limit the dumping of pollution into the ocean from seaward vessels (it does not cover pollution originating on land). Recently, the London Convention has convened a new working group to assess ocean-based carbon removal.

--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/carbonremovalnewsroom/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carbonremovalnewsroom/support