A Congolese refugee farmer improving local soil quality in Uganda. A robotics engineer in California giving common limestone a new 21st century purpose. A fourth-generation member of a commercial fishing family sinking buoys off the Icelandic coast. What do they all have in common? They’re fighting climate change by taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and storing it the best way they know how: through biochar, with direct air capture, and by sinking algae deep in the ocean.
And now we can see the expanding footprint of these and dozens of other carbon removals projects on a new interactive map, hosted on carbonremovals.org and launched during COP 28 in Dubai. The map showcases projects all over the world and spotlights the stories of the people behind them. At the local level, these projects deliver an important suite of co-benefits to communities. At the global level, they represent the vanguard of a future industry capable of removing billions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere per year by mid-century.
Here are a couple of the highlights:
- 134 projects currently on the map; 48 that are biogenic (require sustainable biomass), 33 that are geochemical (require alkaline material), 50 that are synthetic (need low-carbon energy) and 3 that are focused on project delivery. The Applied Innovation Roadmap for CDR (2023) RMI.
- Majority of projects were undergoing active testing with 47% of projects undergoing pilot or demonstration testing and 35% fully operational.
- Projects submitted from 35 different countries, 21 of which were in the global south.
Often lost in discussions around carbon removal is the enormous diversity that characterizes not only technologies and approaches, but also the people who are advancing them. The carbon removals industry is not simply materializing out of the thin air based, but rather is evolving at a breathtaking speed because of the motivation, creativity and commitments of thousands of people around the world, hailing from vastly different contexts, disciplines and backgrounds. This motley crew of excellence includes:
- Kenyans, who plan to power direct air capture by developing their latent geothermal resources, thereby expanding energy access.
- Former oil engineers, overjoyed to be helping return carbon dioxide underground.
- Local farmers, all over the world, boosting their crop yields using ancient carbon removal methodologies adapted for the modern world.
In 2023, there are scores of different carbon removal approaches that operate in a multitude of different environments. All are essential if we want to scale up carbon removal from thousands of tonnes today to billions of tonnes in 2050.
So, have a look and witness not only the diversity of carbon removal projects — running the whole gamut of nature, nature-inspired, hybrid and technology-first — but also the multitude of reasons why these students, activists, farmers, workers and entrepreneurs decided to commit their time to a 10 billion-tonne removal goal. From start-ups to scale-ups to hopefully huge commercial operations, this is our race to prevent 1.5C.
This map is a living repository of carbon removal activities around the world. If you would like to see your project included please use this form or email email@example.com. The map will be updated on an ongoing basis.
View this post on Instagram