Carbon Dioxide Removal: Exploring a Rapidly Evolving Issue

Organizations from around the world learn about and explore their positions on carbon dioxide removal

“We are in a climate emergency!” This was a common refrain heard at a meeting on carbon dioxide removal (CDR) I facilitated in July 2019 in Nairobi. The meeting was convened by the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative (C2G), and organized with support of Steering Committee members from the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, the Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy at American University, the African Climate Policy Centre, and the Climate Action Network (CAN) International.

During the meeting participants explored four possible CDR approaches, including sustainable agriculture and soil carbon, restoration of degraded lands and protection of primary forests, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), and direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS). The meeting was an opportunity for civil society participants, primarily from the global south, to learn, ask questions of experts and each other, and exchange views, concerns, and hopes. The meeting was structured to explore this rapidly evolving issue and empower civil society organizations to engage in policy discussions about CDR at the national and global level.

At the conclusion of the meeting, participants stressed the importance of events such as this one, which provide a space for people to explore their own positions on climate policy issues. One participant said, “We shouldn’t let anyone decide for us how to approach CDR and other proposed climate solutions, and we shouldn’t expect anyone to [decide for us] either.

In recent months world leaders came together at the UN to discuss the climate crisis, students took to the streets to urge their leaders to act, and extreme fires burned across California and Australia. At the UN Climate Change Conference CoP25 that started this week and in the years ahead, policy makers and advocacy groups will need to make decisions about what mix of actions they support to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to avoid the growing catastrophic impacts of climate change. We will need more events like the Nairobi meeting to provide these groups with the latest information and space to explore their positions to help them develop policies and strategies that take account of their own context and align with their values and beliefs.


Maya Breitburg-Smith
Senior Mediator, RESOLVE
December 4, 2019


We use cookies on this site to enhance your online experience. By continuing to use this site, you agree to accept cookies.