A review of commercialisation mechanisms for carbon dioxide removal

Abstract

The deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) needs to be scaled up to achieve net zero emission pledges. In this paper we survey the policy mechanisms currently in place globally to incentivise CDR, together with an estimate of what different mechanisms are paying per tonne of CDR, and how those costs are currently distributed. Incentive structures are grouped into three structures, market-based, public procurement, and fiscal mechanisms. We find the majority of mechanisms currently in operation are underresourced and pay too little to enable a portfolio of CDR that could support achievement of net zero. The majority of mechanisms are concentrated in market-based and fiscal structures, specifically carbon markets and subsidies. While not primarily motivated by CDR, mechanisms tend to support established afforestation and soil carbon sequestration methods. Mechanisms for geological CDR remain largely underdeveloped relative to the requirements of modelled net zero scenarios. Commercialisation pathways for CDR require suitable policies and markets throughout the projects development cycle. Discussion and investment in CDR has tended to focus on technology development. Our findings suggest that an equal or greater emphasis on policy innovation may be required if future requirements for CDR are to be met. This study can further support research and policy on the identification of incentive gaps and realistic potential for CDR globally

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