Canada is ready for removal

Last week was a momentous one.

We officially launched Carbon Removal Canada with over 150 leaders from Canada’s carbon removal sector and policy community at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, released our debut report Ready for Removal: A Decisive Decade for Canadian Leadership in Carbon Dioxide Removal, and were covered in one of Canada’s leading national papers – The Globe and Mail.

David Keith’s keynote address sharing some important lessons on developing and scaling CDR

I couldn’t be prouder of the amazing Carbon Removal Canada team, who worked tirelessly to make the launch event (and everything leading up to it) possible. The enthusiasm in the room was contagious and we had a tremendous line-up of speakers and panelists, including: The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources; David Keith, cofounder of Carbon Engineering; Chief Sharleen Gale, Board Chair of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition; Stacy Kauk, Head of Sustainability at Shopify; Mike Kelland, CEO of Planetary Technologies; and Grégoire Baillargeon, President of BMO Financial Group Quebec. The overwhelming response from attendees was that of inspiration and excitement for the future of Canada’s carbon removal sector.

A thoughtful discussion from our panelists on what it will take to make CDR a safe bet for policymakers

Our report laid out a vision for the opportunity to rapidly and responsibly scale up CDR in Canada. Some key highlights of the report:

  • Canada will need CDR to achieve national climate goals by addressing residual emissions, and even more importantly, to draw down its fair share of historical emissions and contribute to global CDR needs this century.
  • Canada has all of the ingredients – an abundance of land, coastlines, geologic storage potential, clean energy supply, a skilled workforce, and a culture of innovation – necessary for creating a robust CDR sector.
  • We commissioned an analysis that estimated that a CDR industry removing hundreds of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2050 could create over 300,000 jobs, add $143 billion in GDP, and support other critical industrial sectors like construction, manufacturing, steel, and cement.
  • Canada has a strong policy and regulatory framework taking shape, including: Canada’s Carbon Management Strategy, a CCUS Investment Tax Credit, an offset protocol under development for direct air capture, and carbon storage regulations in place in a number of provinces.
  • But additional policy action is needed or Canada to position itself as a global leader in this field and keep pace with the US and other countries that are forging ahead on CDR. We recommend the government take the following steps:

    • Create a robust demand signal
    • Accelerate technology advancement
    • Enable rapid and responsible deployment

We see this as a decisive decade for carbon removal. The report provides specific actions the government and other stakeholders can take to realize Canada’s potential as a CDR leader. The decisions we make today will determine the future of CDR in meeting climate goals by mid-century and beyond.

Download the Report

With the momentum of a successful launch at our backs, we’re quickly shifting to translating our report findings into actionable opportunities for government, communities, and industry to rapidly and responsibly scale carbon removal in Canada. I would personally love to see new proof-of-concept carbon removal projects announced in 2024 catalyzed by a supportive policy environment and a world-class innovation ecosystem.

Our work is just getting started – please get in touch with us to discuss your interest in investing in or supporting the CDR field in Canada!

By Na’im Merchant

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