The federal government’s annual appropriations process is central to our efforts to fund carbon dioxide removal (CDR). Each year, Carbon180 submits requests to various congressional offices to help guide where next year’s dollars will flow. Below is a breakdown of (most of) the FY24 appropriations requests we made across agencies to support the full portfolio of carbon removal solutions.

Pushing tech carbon removal forward

Last year, the CHIPS and Science Act provided a historic funding boost for carbon removal research, development, and demonstration (RD&D), but the bill only authorized spending — it didn’t distribute actual dollars. Here’s what we recommend for those funds:

  • Strengthen CDR research and development at the Department of Energy (DOE). $320 million for coordinated RD&D of diverse carbon removal technologies, as well as the development and improvement of monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) tools and frameworks.
  • Fund the CDR pilot purchasing program. $20 million to support DOE in providing demand-side support for CDR in order to bring down costs and encourage private sector innovation.
  • Increase capacity to permit Class VI wells. $12 million to address the procedural and resource bottlenecks at the Environmental Protection Agency that have caused delays in permitting Class VI wells, impeding safe and effective geologic storage.

Growing protections for our forests

Protecting and restoring US forests is no easy task, particularly as extreme wildfire risk threatens local economies, biodiversity, and vast stores of carbon. To protect and enhance the benefits provided by US forests, the federal government must continue to invest in key Forest Service programs. Aligned with the President’s budget request, here’s what we recommend:

  • Build capacity at the National Agroforestry Center. $3 million to meet increasing demand for specialized technical assistance and support agroforestry implementation.
  • Invest in scientific research, development, and data collection. $42 million to support Forest Inventory and Analysis program efforts to collect and centralize data on forest health, conditions, and trends.
  • Expand capacity for genetic research and seed and seedling supply. $2 million to expand technical assistance capacity through the Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources program. $40 million to support federal nurseries and seed extractories under Vegetation and Watershed Management.
  • Expand support for Urban and Community Forestry program projects. Support more holistic evaluation of projects that serve disadvantaged communities and fund demonstration projects for urban forest farming.

Sowing support for agriculture programs

The upcoming Farm Bill will be critical to securing long-term policies that bolster soil carbon storage, and our appropriations asks complement our Farm Bill platform by recommending an increase in critical existing resources at the Department of Agriculture.

  • Propel necessary R&D to scale soil carbon storage. $1.88 billion for the Agricultural Research Service, including the Long-Term Agroecosystem Research Network, Climate Hubs, National Soil Dynamics Lab, Agricultural Measurement and Monitoring Innovation Lab, and Soil Carbon Research, to add new long-term soil carbon projects, collect and manage data, and translate findings into insights for producers.
  • Expand soil carbon demonstration trials. $60 million for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program to grow regionally-relevant demonstration trials that de-risk carbon-storing agricultural practices.
  • Advance soil carbon measurement tools and technologies. $500 million for the Agriculture and Research Food Initiative to support Land-Grant Universities, research institutions, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations in developing soil carbon MRV tools and frameworks.
  • Update soil carbon stock monitoring guidelines and collect benchmark data. $1.2 billion for the Natural Resource Conservation Services’ Conservation Operations to update the Conservation Evaluation and Monitoring Activity (CEMA 221) and to restart the Rapid Carbon Assessment for field-level data on soil carbon stocks.

Diving deep into ocean CDR

FY24 included our first appropriations request for ocean carbon removal, and this request for the Department of Commerce aligns with our latest thinking and research.

  • Coordination and support for R&D of ocean carbon removal. $10 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to fund ocean CDR research and clarify permitting guidance on research testing.

Next up: the House and Senate appropriations committees will release their spending proposals, expected this summer.

Edited by Ana Little-Saña. Cover Image by Alejandro Barba