Capturing carbon emissions could move world to clean energy future

The United States and the world will use fossil fuels for some time. Our country must accept technologies that respond to the global demand for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and position our economy to prosper in the process. One of these technologies is direct air capture, which uses advanced emerging systems to remove carbon dioxide directly from ambient air, and safely stores carbon dioxide or redirects it for commercial purposes.

To help advance this process and position the United States at the forefront of this emerging industry. A new group, the Direct Air Capture Advisory Council, is formed to explore the many challenges and opportunities to advance in direct air capture.

Since 2009, federal cumulative research funds for direct air capture have totaled less than $ 11 million, which is equivalent to 4.6 percent of the average annual appropriate research budget for solar energy technologies.

Funding from previous research is less than 1 percent of the level recommended by the National Academies of $ 1.2 billion to $ 2.4 billion needed to boost advances in direct aerial capture over the next one to two decades.

We must also bear in mind that carbon removal technologies are by no means the substitute for many other policies and private investments necessary to produce more low carbon and zero carbon energy in our clean energy transition. However, it seems clear that direct air capture could play an important role in reducing emissions at home and around the world.

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