During the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Change (MEF) this week, President Biden announced the Carbon Management Challenge, calling on global leaders to commit to not only reduce emissions but also capture and remove them.
The MEF is held annually and is an opportunity for developed and developing economies to have discussions about climate change policy and can be seen as a precursor to the United Nations COP meetings later in the year.
MEF participants Australia, Canada, Egypt, the European Union, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, as well as Norway and Denmark, joined in launching the challenge. The notable exceptions here were China and India.
Carbon management was one of the four collective initiatives President Biden called on fellow leaders to join, in order to “recommit ourselves to action while we still have the time.” The initiatives are:
- Decarbonizing energy
- Ending deforestation
- Reducing non-CO2 emissions
- Advancing carbon management
There was also an announcement of a $1 billion pledge for the Green Climate Fund, a climate aid vehicle created to support developing countries’ with responding to the effects of climate change.
The Biden Carbon Management Challenge is another strong confirmation that carbon removal is already a top priority for the U.S. but this particular initiative is a call to make global efforts, especially in the developing economies, where fossil fuels are used to generate GDP growth.
G7 Carbon Management Focus
Last week also saw the G7, the format for the seven most developed economies, issue a statement (relevant part is at page 26) that deploying carbon removal technoogy is among its top priorities. It also used the carbon management term, placing carbon capture and CO2 removal technologies in one pot.
Regardless, the need for expanding CO2 storage capacity and transport infrastructure was clearly outlined, as well as developing regional carbon capture hubs.
This echoes the development of hubs in the U.S., which already earmarked funds for their deployment and is receiving applications from interested parties including energy companies and startups.
The G7 meeting ended with a pledge to phase out coal, but it lacked a clear deadline, with pushback coming mainly from Japan.