Global CO2 Initiative is excited to announce a new bi-weekly newsletter, which will feature information about CO2 Capture and Utilization (CCU): a Partner Profile section featuring important people in the CCU field, News in a Nutshell with brief descriptions of what is going on in the CCU space, and Imminent Events listing noteworthy upcoming happenings.

Partner Profile: Dr. Rosina Bierbaum, GCI Board Member

Dr. Bierbaum's 20 year career working as a science translator for policy makers was inspired by her experience as a Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow when she witnessed scientists and policy makers talking past -- not with -- each other. At that point she “realized that there was a crying need for translators and assessors of science. That experience literally changed [her] life.”

What do you see as some of the biggest challenges in your work?

Most of the models of how we can get to a 1.5 or 2 degree world require that CCUS (carbon capture utilization and storage) be really enormous numbers that would have had to come roaring in by now and we are not on track to do that. So we need to think about every possible way of capturing carbon, from the traditional way of storing CO2 in trees to sequestering it in the ground and also think of ways to use carbon in ways that advance livelihoods and keep it out of the air.  


I think the pace at which all of the above needs to happen has not been appreciated by the public. I think there are also cases in which, depending on what you do with that carbon, you can make things worse or better.

What can and should be done about this issue?

Something that this administration has to tackle quite quickly is adaptation. We’ve spent time thinking about and understanding the science and the technological solutions on the energy side to reduce emissions. However, for far too long, we haven’t really actively helped communities or businesses think about what they can do to cope with the changes. It’s not either or anymore. We already know that climate change is happening faster and having impacts that are more severe than we originally thought. We need to very rapidly help communities figure out how to cope with it.


The administration’s focus on building back better, greener and more equitably offers an opportunity to tackle infrastructure, livelihood, energy, AND adaptation, making communities more resilient to everything from sea level rise to changing rainfall and drought patterns to increased storm surge from more powerful hurricanes. We need to think about ways that the country could help companies think about their supply chains and resiliency. That is going to be very important to get right.

Why is climate change an important issue?

Climate change is the most urgent issue in the environmental arena that we are going to confront in the coming decades.  It’s deeply interlinked with biodiversity, land degradation, equity, and energy use. I want to try to help develop solutions quickly.

This year the World Economic Forum determined that four of the five biggest and most likely risks facing the world were related to climate change and the environment.  So even the World Economic Forum concluded that we cannot stop our focus on climate change and biodiversity because of the pandemic.  This was a very powerful statement from the Economic Forum of the World.  

This year the World Economic Forum determined that four of the five biggest and most likely risks facing the world were related to climate change and the environment. So even the World Economic Forum concluded that we cannot stop our focus on climate change and biodiversity because of the pandemic. This was a very powerful statement from the Economic Forum of the World.  

Really, thinking about how many of these problems are interrelated, climate change, natural disaster costs, ecosystem degradation, and even surprises like emerging infectious diseases, … those are all going to be happening in the future and they are all going to be happening simultaneously.  So if we can think about some solution sets that help with multiple problems at once -- and don’t make another problem worse -- the better we will be.

News in a Nutshell

GCI's Carbon Removal Index

GCI researcher Michael Blakeslee recently completed a project documenting and analyzing all of the carbon capturing and utilization or sequestration projects throughout the world for the last 50 years. The report indicates that the actual carbon captured each year is significantly below required carbon capturing goals to stabilize the climate. In order to better monitor the progress towards carbon capture goals, GCI has devised the Carbon Removal Index. The Index quantifies the percentage of the target goals and for 2020 at a global capture amount of 75 million tons of CO2, the index stands at 0.7 for a target amount of 10 gigatons a year for carbon capture, utilization, and storage or 1.9 towards the 4 gigatons of annual CO2 use that GCI seeks to achieve.

Tom Raftery recently interviewed Professor Volker Sick for his podcast “Climate 21.” The Climate 21 podcast is a weekly podcast that will showcase best practices and thought leadership in greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

“… (Concrete) is a material that is designed to really hold enormous amounts of carbon dioxide. And that’s key. We have a huge, huge surplus of CO2. Where do we stick it? We can pump it underground. That works, but it’s expensive. We make concrete anyway — let’s put the CO2 in that.”

The SCALE (Storing CO2 and Lowering Emissions) Act, a comprehensive CO2 infrastructure bill with potential to help fight climate change and create jobs was released with bipartisan support.

LanzaTech from USA, Carbon Recycling International from Iceland, and Covestro from Germany won the “Best CO2 Utilization in 2021” innovation prize for their work in transforming CO2 into methanol, cleaners, plastic packaging or surfactants.

Peter Eisenberger, inventor of Global Thermostat's direct air capture technology, explains how we can fight climate by capturing atmospheric CO2 & using it as a resource. 

Cheaper carbon capture is on the way, according to U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Imminent Events

Urban climate governance in North America

Thursday, April 8, 2021, 1:00-2:00 pm ET

Join the Ford School of Public Policy for a conversation with leading scholars of urban climate governance. Find out what some of the largest North American cities have been doing to address climate change, coordination/collaboration among them, and how their different sub-national and national contexts affect their efforts. This event will feature presentations from Sara Hughes (University of Michigan), Gian Carlo Delgado Ramos (National Autonomous University of Mexico), and Hilda Blanco (University of Southern California).

Mini-series of interactive webinars on harmonized assessments of CO2 utilization technologies

First two weeks of May 2021

More than ever before it is necessary to objectively and transparently assess CO2 utilization technologies to ensure that efforts are put into technology that can best achieve financial viability and at the same time meet climate related goals. An international team of experts collaborates to further advance guidance for assessments and will offer a mini-series of webinars in early May that illustrates the current status of thorough assessments as well as invites community input to further help advance carbon dioxide capture and utilization. More details to be announced soon

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