The science and arithmetic of climate change are decisive – we need more paths to progress. Despite dramatic progress in renewable power cost and deployment, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. Greenhouse gas reduction in the power sector is not yet on track, while emissions from land-use, heavy industry, and transportation continue to grow alarmingly. Demand for rapid decarbonization has grown as a policy priority, and increasingly financial institutions consider carbon footprint and corporate actions as a core value and potential risk. At the same time, the potential impact of an energy transition on jobs and communities prompts questions about labor, equity, and impacts to communities, as well as the total economic cost. One pathway has emerged as critical to success – large-scale carbon management. This set of technologies and approaches include carbon capture and storage (CCS), converting carbon into products for sale and removing CO2 from the air and oceans. Despite the consensus from scientific, governmental and financial leaders on the essential nature of rapidly deploying these options, many decision-makers have valid questions about the role, scale, market viability, and potential consequences of large-scale carbon management.
WHAT IS THE CARBON MANAGEMENT RESEARCH INITIATIVE?
The Carbon Management Research Initiative (CaMRI) is a new program at the Center on Global Energy Policy that focuses on speeding up decarbonization and reducing the risk and impact of climate change through carbon management. These approaches exist within the complex, competitive and changing landscape of global energy markets, financial institutions, shifting policy imperatives and approaches, and rapidly evolving technologies. The critical reduction of CO2 emissions offered by carbon management will require scholarship, insight, practical and technical options/expertise, and cross-disciplinary collaboration to help map options and actions. CaMRI’s initiative at CGEP seeks to better understand the technical, economic, and policy barriers to market deployment of CCS, CO2 recycling, and CO2 removal. It will delineate and design policy and finance options to overcome these barriers.
The initiative leverages multidisciplinary scholars and technical expertise at Columbia University, including in law, business, science, engineering, finance, public policy and social science. It will also look for partnerships with other academic, research, and public institutions in New York City, New York State, across the U.S. and the globe.
CaMRI provides independent insight and data-driven analysis for private and public sector leaders navigating this new and complex landscape. Specifically, CaMRI works to:
- Identify and assess important technologies and technology pathways for direct management of carbon dioxide.
- Be a source of new ideas and information around the emerging discipline of carbon management as well as the new carbon economy.
- Help provide insight to decision-makers charged with solving vexing public problems involving energy system decarbonization.
CaMRI focuses on U.S. institutions and stakeholders (e.g., federal and state governments or at-risk communities) while examining global actions and opportunities in carbon management. It will help to create foundries for commercial climate solutions, as well as provide insight and analysis to companies, government agencies, journalists, business leaders, and policymakers seeking a deeper understanding of what carbon management can provide economically and practically. We will start this effort with two major studies.