Atlanta, Georgia, May 18, 2021: Ocean Visions today released the first in a series of five “living” digital road maps that identify specific pathways forward to accelerate the development and testing of ocean-based carbon dioxide removal approaches.
The first of these maps—the Macroalgae Cultivation and Carbon Sequestration Road Map—was introduced to potential users at the 2021 Ocean Visions Summit.
During 2020, Ocean Visions convened experts from multiple disciplines, sectors, and geographies to build these road maps. Numerous workshops helped to identify technology readiness, scaling potential, uncertainties, obstacles, opportunities, and first-order priorities for moving the field forward. The effort focused on three ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR) domains, as well as two cross-cutting issues of importance.
These road maps are intended to catalyze attention and action around the most critical priorities to move these fields forward. The road maps will be regularly updated and refined as advances emerge in science, technology, governance, and policy.
Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is increasingly acknowledged as an imperative for slowing climate change, in lockstep with reducing emissions. To date, however, most of the development around CDR approaches and technologies has been focused on terrestrial solutions, such as afforestation.
“Removing legacy carbon pollution from our air and water is essential to a healthy ocean, and to interrupting dangerous warming and acidification. The ocean represents an enormous opportunity to sequester carbon, but ocean-based carbon dioxide removal approaches are poorly understood and underinvested,” says Ocean Visions Executive Director and Chief Innovation Officer Brad Ack. “These road maps are designed to help overcome those obstacles.”
The cultivation of macroalgae, or seaweed, has the potential to play a critical role in sequestering carbon. While there are a number of emerging pilot initiatives, a supportive framework is lacking. The road maps are intended to provide this framework, allowing scientists, engineers, cultivators, entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, and more to collaborate across the globe to drive progress on the most critical priorities for scaling the field.
“This new road map will help a multisector community better understand and assess challenges and opportunities related to field testing, commercial scaling, philanthropic engagement, and public support—all grounded in an evidence-based, precautionary approach towards implementation,” Ack says.