Last week, the Sabin Center, which specializes in the development of climate change laws, published model federal legislation for ocean carbon dioxide removal or CDR.
The model legislation is designed to support the safe and responsible research of ocean CDR in US waters.
Carbon removal remains and will continue to be one of the cornerstones of climate change solutions, especially as rising global temperatures become a more and more urgent matter by the hour.
And one of the most promising and powerful means of naturally removing vast quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere is by enhancing the ocean’s ability to pull and store the greenhouse gas in its depths.
This approach is what is known as ocean CDR, and due to its vastness and the potential for immense environmental risks that go along with it, there is a strong need to approach this climate solution with the utmost caution, which requires more in-depth research.
Hence, there is also a necessity to develop legal frameworks to regulate ocean CDR, which is where the Sabin Center comes in with the proposed model legislation that was supported by funding from Ocean Visions.
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The framework focuses on establishing an efficient and comprehensive permitting procedure for ocean CDR research and includes different safeguards, such as monitoring and consultation, to ensure that all research is rooted in science and keep potential risks to communities and the environment to a minimum.
Other points that the proposed legislation details include the regulation of ocean CDR by a single federal agency and the establishment of Regional Research Councils consisting of state and tribal representatives.
Another key point is the provision of adequate funding for environmental cleanup in the event of any harm caused by the research project.
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