The Aspen Institute – a global nonprofit organization aiming to address some of the world’s most complex problems, launched on Nov 2 its latest research dedicated to marine carbon dioxide removal – “A Code of Conduct for Marine Carbon Dioxide Removal Research”.
The paper can be accessed here and has both an Executive Summary and a detailed full version. It suggests a Code of Conduct for marine carbon removal research that includes the processes, procedures, and activities that project leads should follow to ensure decisions regarding whether, when, where, and how the research is conducted will be informed by relevant ethical, scientific, economic, environmental, and regulatory considerations.
It aims to find a balance between the rapid development of the space and a careful consideration of unforeseen eventualities. The balance is needed to ensure marine carbon removal delivers the necessary climate impact while the marine ecosystem is safeguarded.
As the paper points out, such a Code of Conduct can play a vital role in addressing the climate crisis while taking into account the imperative to avoid negative unintended environmental and social consequences that could emerge from even the best-intended research activities.
The Code of Conduct guidelines are listed chronologically and divided according to the three stages of marine CDR research that involve planning and scoping, execution of the research, and conclusion of the research. The guidelines are intended to serve researchers, funders, developers, regulators, community stakeholders, and any others who have or contribute to decision-making obligations in any given mCDR effort.