As the world’s largest buyer of goods and services, the United States federal government wields significant market influence and can effectively mobilize taxpayer resources. With this power, many policymakers and climate advocates see the direct public purchasing of carbon removal as a critical step towards catalyzing innovation and driving down costs.

Currently, the carbon removal market faces a significant deficit in public trust and knowledge. This is due, in part, to skepticism about certain leading carbon removal technologies and a lack of rigorous, independent standards for verifying how much CO2 has been removed from the atmosphere and durably stored. Congress has funded carbon removal research and development, but demand-side policies are needed to shape and grow the market. 

To that end, our experts have crafted an actionable guide for policymakers interested in designing ambitious demand-side policies that leverage federal purchasing as a tool to establish high-quality carbon removal. Our latest report, The Procurement Toolbox: Building Blocks for Carbon Removal Procurement Policy, outlines a strategic framework for the federal government to lead in carbon removal procurement, setting high standards and creating market certainty. By doing so, it aims to inspire further thinking and catalyze federal policies that accelerate carbon removal deployment. 

“With this latest report, Carbon180 continues to be the world’s leader in developing meaningful and thoughtful CDR policy,” says Congressman Paul Tonko. “There is no doubt that the public sector will need to play an important role in fostering innovative and high-quality CDR activities. By following the recommendations provided in this report, federally-procured carbon removal will become the gold standard for the industry. I am also grateful for Carbon180’s support of the Carbon Dioxide Removal Leadership Act, which seeks to align with many of the recommendations included in this important report.”

“Through leveraging its enormous purchasing power, the federal government can catalyze innovation and jump-start a sustainable, long-term market for carbon removal,” says Congressman Scott Peters, coauthor of the Federal Carbon Dioxide Removal Leadership Act. “Carbon180’s report makes clear that a federal procurement strategy is a necessary step to meeting climate goals and is a win for our planet, our economy, and our future.”

The proposed policy framework presented in the report aims to create market certainty by establishing standards through just, verifiable, and durable carbon removal. This can drive the development of a robust and trustworthy carbon removal market that can address legacy emissions, drive innovation, and create economic opportunities across sectors. 

Read more in the full report.

Edited by Ana Little-Saña. Image by Andy Feliciotti.