Ensuring Good Governance of Carbon Dioxide Removal

Author: Evvan Morton


Climate change is an enormous environmental, social, and economic threat to the United States. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning fossil fuels and other industrial processes are a major driver of this threat. Even if the world stopped emitting CO2 today, the huge quantities of CO2 generated by human activity to date would continue to sit in the atmosphere and cause dangerous climate effects for at least another 1,000 years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that keeping average global warming below 1.5°C is not possible without the use of carbon dioxide removal (CDR). While funding and legislative support for CDR has greatly increased in recent years, the United States does not yet have a coordinated plan for implementing CDR technologies. The Department of Energy’s CDR task force should recommend a governance strategy for CDR implementation to responsibly, equitably, and effectively combat climate change by achieving net-negative CO2 emissions.

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About the Author

Evvan Morton obtained her Ph.D. in Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering from Arizona State University with a certificate in Responsible Innovation. Evvan’s research examined the effectiveness of U.S. policies that govern carbon dioxide emissions and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide to mitigate climate change, and explored the necessity for carbon dioxide removal through political, technological, and ethical lenses. Evvan is also the co-founder of BioGals, a non-profit organization that empowers women of color in STEM through participation in global sustainable-development projects. Motivated to bridge the gap between science and decision-making, Evvan looks forward to a career in science policy to develop innovative policies for transitioning to a sustainable energy future.