Carbon Management and Negative Emissions
Many scientists agree that reducing or even eliminating future greenhouse gas emissions will not, by itself, be sufficient to avoid catastrophic climate change. In addition, it will also be necessary to remove previously emitted greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and store or utilize them in some way. This can be done using a range of carbon management and negative emission technologies. The Sabin Center conducts research on legal issues associated with the development and use of carbon management and negative emissions technologies.
For more information, please contact Sabin Center Deputy Director Romany Webb at email@example.com.
CDRlaw.org: The CDR Law database compiles legal materials pertaining to carbon dioxide removal, utilization, and storage. The database was developed in collaboration with the Carbon Management Research Initiative of the Center for Global Energy Policy at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs and the Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy at American University.
Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal
The Sabin Center published a series of white papers and a book on the international and domestic legal frameworks for ocean carbon dioxide removal (CDR). The white papers analyze the international and U.S. laws applicable to ocean alkalinity enhancement, artificial upwelling and downwelling, ocean fertilization, and seaweed cultivation (in the U.S. and in California). The book details the international and domestic legal framework applicable to the techniques in Canada, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, the U.K., and the U.S. ClimateWorks provided funding for the project.
Model Legislation for Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal Research
The Sabin Center published model federal legislation to advance safe and responsible ocean carbon dioxide removal research in U.S. waters. The model legislation builds on input from dozens of scientists, government representatives, companies, and interested community members. The purpose of this proposed model legislation is to establish clear and efficient permitting regime for in-ocean CDR research. At the same time, the model legislation builds in consultation, monitoring, and other safeguards to ensure research occurs in a scientifically-sound manner and minimizes potential risks to the environment and communities. Ocean Visions provided funding for the project. A summary document is available here and the model legislation is available here.
The Sabin Center is participating in an interdisciplinary research study, funded by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, known as “Solid Carbon.” The project aims to assess the feasibility of developing an integrated, offshore negative emissions system to cap ture and storage carbon dioxide in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of Canada. For more information, visit the project website here
Offshore Carbon Storage in the Northeastern U.S.
In 2016-17, the Sabin Center partnered with scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to assess the feasibility of carbon dioxide storage in sub-seabed basalt rock formations off the northeast U.S. Coast. The study assessed the legal and regulatory framework for offshore storage at the federal level and in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. A report, documenting the findings of the study, is available here.
Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal for Climate Mitigation: The Legal Framework, Romany M. Webb, Korey Silverman-Roati, and Michael B. Gerrard (eds) (April 2023)
Climate Engineering and the Law: Regulation and Liability for Solar Radiation Management and Carbon Dioxide Removal, Michael B. Gerrard and Tracy Hester (eds) (March 2018)
Articles and White Papers/Reports
Developing Model Federal Legislation to Advance Safe and Responsible Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal Research in the United States, by Romany M. Webb and Korey Silverman-Roati (March 2023)
Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Ocean Fertilization: Legal Challenges and Opportunities, Korey Silverman-Roati, Romany M. Webb, and Michael B. Gerrard (July 2022)
Permitting Seaweed Cultivation for Carbon Sequestration in California: Barriers and Recommendations, by Korey Silverman-Roati, Romany M. Webb, and Michael B. Gerrard, June 23, 2022
Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Artificial Upwelling and Downwelling: Legal Challenges and Opportunities, by Romany M. Webb, Korey Silverman-Roati, and Michael B. Gerrard (May 2022)
A Research Strategy for Ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal and Sequestration, the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, December 8, 2021 (co-authored by Romany Webb)
Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Seaweed Cultivation: Legal Challenges and Opportunities, by Korey Silverman-Roati, Romany M. Webb, and Michael B. Gerrard, September, 7 2021
Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement: Legal Challenges and Opportunities, by Romany M. Webb, Korey Silverman-Roati, and Michael B. Gerrard, August 30, 2021
The Law of Enhanced Weathering for Carbon Dioxide Removal: Volume 2 -- Legal Issues Associated With Materials Sourcing, by Romany M. Webb (March 2021)
The Legal Framework for Offshore Carbon Capture and Storage in Canada, by Romany Webb and Michael B. Gerrard (February 2021)
Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement and Seaweed Cultivation: Legal Challenges and Opportunities, by Romany Webb, Korey Silverman and Michael B. Gerrard (February 2021)
The Law of Enhanced Weathering for Carbon Dioxide Removal, by Romany M. Webb (September 2020)
Direct air capture: An emerging necessity to fight climate change, by Michael B. Gerrard (ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, March/April 2020)
Going Negative: The Next Horizon in Climate Engineering Law, by Tracy Hester and Michael B. Gerrard (Natural Resources & Environment, vol. 32 no. 4, Spring 2018)
Overcoming Impediments to Offshore Carbon Dioxide Storage: Legal Issues in the U.S. and Canada, by Romany M. Webb and Michael B. Gerrard (March 2018)
Policy Readiness for Offshore Carbon Dioxide Storage in the Northeast, by Romany M. Webb and Michael B. Gerrard (June 2017)
Congress should step in to advance ocean climate solutions, op-ed by Korey Silverman-Roati and Romany Webb, The Hill, March 27, 2023
Using the Oceans to Store CO2 Could Help Avoid Climate Catastrophe, op-ed by Romany M. Webb and Michael B. Gerrard, Bloomberg Law, December 30, 2021
- On Earth Day, scientists tell us what 2050 could be like. Their answers might surprise you. USA Today, April 21, 2023
- Harnessing the Ocean's Power to Combat the Climate Crisis, The State of the Planet, April 21, 2023
- Can giving the ocean an antacid help curb climate change? NBC News, February 11, 2023
- What is Blue Carbon and How Can It Help Fight Climate Change?, The State of the Planet, January 25, 2023
- UVic researchers help lead ocean and carbon study, Canada TV News, October 26, 2022
- Moving the dial on ocean-based C02 removal, China Dialogue Ocean, March 15, 2022
- Model Legislation to Advance Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal Research, May 11, 2023. Watch the video here.
- Emerging Issues in U.S. Federal Law for Carbon Dioxide Removal, September 27, 2022