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 so-called “negative emission technologies.” The Sabin Center conducts research on legal issues associated with the development and use of negative emissions technologies.

For more information, please contact Sabin Center Senior Fellow Romany Webb at 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.

Solid Carbon

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 capture 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.


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

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)