This topic aims to present a detailed overview of Direct Air Capture and Carbon-Dioxide Storage (DACCS) to an audience interested in understanding the basic principles of DACCS, as well as the benefits and risks associated with this Carbon Dioxide Removal approach and the underlying governance issues associated with it. It seeks to answer the following questions:
- What is DACCS and what role could it play in managing climate risk?
- What do we know about the potential risks and benefits associated with this approach?
- What do we know about research, readiness, potential and cost of DACCS?
- How can an informed decision be made whether to scale up DACCS development and deployment?
- What are some of the governance considerations around DACCS?
- How might some of the governance challenges be considered or addressed in the context of current governance processes and mechanisms?
This Webinar features two fifteen-minute expert overviews on the governance of DACCS. It will be followed by a 45-minute moderated Q&A session, during which audience members are invited to submit written questions via the Zoom chat. Speakers include:
Jennifer Wilcox / United States of America
Jennifer Wilcox is the Presidential Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Energy Policy at University of Pennsylvania, and leads the World Resources Institute’s Carbon Removal Plan as a Senior Fellow. She joins UPenn and WRI following appointment as the James H. Manning Chaired Professor of Chemical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Having grown up in rural Maine, Wilcox has a profound respect and appreciation of nature, which permeates her work as she focuses on minimising negative impacts of humankind on our natural environment.
Wilcox’s research takes aim at the nexus of energy and the environment, developing both mitigation and adaptation strategies to minimise negative climate impacts associated with society’s dependence on fossil fuels. This work carefully examines the role of carbon management and opportunities therein that could assist in preventing 2° C warming by 2100. Carbon management includes a mix of technologies spanning from the direct removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to its capture from industrial, utility-scale and microemitter (motor vehicle) exhaust streams, followed by utilisation or reliable storage of carbon dioxide on a timescale and magnitude that will have a positive impact on our current climate change crisis. Funding for her research is primarily sourced through the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy and the private sector. She has served on a number of committees including the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society to assess carbon capture methods and impacts on climate. She is the author of the first textbook on carbon capture, published in March 2012.
Simon Nicholson / New Zealand
Simon Nicholson is Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University. He also co-directs the Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy and directs the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment. Professor Nicholson’s research focuses on global environmental governance, global food politics, and the politics of emerging technologies, including carbon removal and solar geoengineering technologies. He is co-editor, with Wil Burns and David Dana, of the forthcoming book Climate Geoengineering: Law and Governance (Springer).
Moderator: Michael Thompson / United States of America
- Jennifer Wilcox The Role of Direct Air Capture in the Portfolio of Approaches to Meeting Climate Goals [pdf]
- Simon Nicholson Governance Provisions and Challenges of Direct Air Capture with Carbon Storage (DACCS) [pdf]
Q&A (Webinar 1)
Q&A (Webinar 2)
This Campfire Chat aimed to provide diverse points of view on the governance of DACCS (presented in the webinar above), in a relatively informal, moderated, semi-structured discussion between experts. Audience members were invited to suggest topics via the Zoom chat. Guests included:
Ceri Vincent / United Kingdom
Ceri J. Vincent graduated with an MSci in geophysics from the University of Leeds in 2000. She has worked at the British Geological Survey (BGS) for over 19 years on CO₂ storage projects. This includes interpretation of geological and geophysical data for assessment and characterisation of potential storage sites at a range of scales (basin to reservoir).
Ceri is science lead for the UK Energy Research Accelerator GeoEnergy Test Bed, a field laboratory designed to advance understanding of processes and impacts in the shallow subsurface in order to refine monitoring techniques and technologies for CO2 storage sites. Ceri is leading the workpackage on ‘managing leakage risks for protection of the environment and groundwater’ for the CO2GeoNet H2020 ENOS (ENabling Onshore Storage) project.
Ceri is President of CO₂GeoNet, the European Network of Excellence on the geological storage of CO₂. She is also an Honorary Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham (2014 onwards).
David Hawkins / United States of America
David Hawkins is Senior Attorney, Climate Policy, Climate & Clean Energy Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). David Hawkins joined the nascent NRDC in 1971 and has been with it ever since, minus the four years he spent working at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the Carter administration. Upon his return, he dedicated much of his time to getting an improved Clean Air Act reauthorized by Congress in 1990. Hawkins then served as director of NRDC’s Air & Energy program for 11 years until assuming directorship of the organization’s Climate Center in 2001. With expertise in advanced coal technologies and carbon dioxide capture and storage, Hawkins served as a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Climate Change Science Program Product Development Advisory Committee. He is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Law. He is based in NRDC’s New York office.
Masahiro Sugiyama / Japan
An expert on global warming, he has worked on various topics related with climate change, ranging from energy efficiency in global scenarios to citizens’ views on climate geoengineering.
Maya Batres / Guatemala & United States of America
Maya Batres (she/her) is a Project Manager for Energy and Land Use in The Nature Conservancy. She focuses on regulatory and policy issues related to conservation and clean energy infrastructure planning. In her time with TNC she’s worked in climate policy in DC, and natural resource policy in MN, SD, ND. Pre-TNC she worked in public interest law, is the recipient of an Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellowship, and an AmeriCorps VISTA alumni. Maya earned her J.D. (Energy and Environmental Law) and her B.A. (Spanish Studies, African American Studies, Political Science) from the University of Minnesota. Maya is Guatemalan-American and speaks Spanish and English.
Moderator: Kai-Uwe Barani Schmidt / Germany
As a senior member of the secretary-general’s Climate Change Support Team, Schmidt contributed to the coordination of the global climate change summit in 2009 and was part of the secretary-general’s team at UNFCCC negotiations in Copenhagen. In the lead-up to and during the landmark Paris climate change agreement in 2015, he led the team’s work on the global climate action agenda, initiated by the secretary-general at his 2014 summit, that mobilized thousands of companies, hundreds of cities, and sub-national authorities in collaboration with governments, the UN, IGOs, and NGOs.
Over the last few years, Schmidt has contributed to the launch of the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT). This initiative aims to build a best practice for guidance, tools, and capacity of governments and sub-national authorities to measure the effects of their policies with regard to climate change and the other UN SDGs and report progress publicly, thus fostering greater transparency, effectiveness, and trust, enabling innovative financing and ambition in climate policies worldwide.
Schmidt’s experience has covered public policy design, regulatory design, and implementation of global emissions trading and offset instruments. He has coordinated high-level events, navigating the interface of international negotiations with private sector, intergovernmental, and non-governmental organizations focusing on private sector engagement in climate change and development action at international, national, sub-national, city, and company/NGO levels. In addition, Schmidt’s experience has covered institutional build-up and management of both resources and people.
C2G strives to achieve a diversity of views and backgrounds across all its events. To that end, it is always open to feedback and suggestions regarding future participants and topics, to ensure a range of perspectives by sector, gender, race, geography, age and other dimensions. It will not always achieve the necessary diversity in all circumstances due to issues of availability and familiarity, but aims over time to expand the range of contributors able to address its issues, subject to the broad principles outlined in its mission statement.