Last Meeting (11/18/20)
Last Wednesday we spoke with Vanessa Suarez, policy advisor at Carbon 180. This was our first policy focused meeting, so it was interesting to get out of the engineering nitty gritty and into the politics of NETs. Vanessa began by introducing a triplet of problems that NETs face: high costs, social and environmental impacts, and gaps in research. In response to this, the three main solutions to these problems are research and development (R&D), incentives, and infrastructure. R&D is one of the more obvious solutions, considering its mostly what our project focuses on; however, incentives and infrastructure can take on more multifaceted approaches. Incentives for NETs, as they exist now, are focused around offering carbon tax credits, and creating different bills which offered direct funding for NET breakthroughs, such as the Clean Economy Jobs Act. For Carbon 180, this would mean pushing for higher tax credits for sequestration versus using CO2 for enhanced oil recovery. As for infrastructure, this merely describes how we can create a national, even global, network of shared resources, for example the CREATE Act which provides a system for government agencies to share resources related to CO2 removal.
Now, with all of this stated, what exactly does Vanessa and Carbon 180 do? Carbon 180’s role has been to compile and conduct the most cutting edge research in the NET field. This expertise combined with Carbon 180’s congressional relationships allows them an interesting position to advise and push for certain policies. Secondly, Carbon 180 works with many other environmental NGO’s to pull expertise from other areas of the related field to make the best informed decisions possible. Finally, Carbon 180 also produces their own handbooks for policy recommendations, a guidebook of what is necessary to keep within 2 degrees Celsius of warming. Such a guide allows for grassroots support of these policies which helps advance the paradigm.
For anyone who missed the meeting please go to the google drive > Membership > Meeting Videos and watch the general meeting 6 there !