First-Order Priorities

Develop Supportive Governance and Regulatory Regimes for RD&D

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Investment in ocean-based CDR will not happen at the scale needed without addressing the current situation of policy and regulatory uncertainty. It is critical to build enabling governance frameworks (a mixture of policy, regulatory structures, and public investment) that provide increasing clarity around how ocean-based CDR can move forward.  This must include things like clarified permitting processes, and clearly identified oversight authorities. Detail on key elements of this priority can be found in the Public Support road map.

Investment in ocean-based CDR will not happen at the scale needed without addressing the current situation of policy and regulatory uncertainty. It is critical to build enabling governance frameworks (a mixture of policy, regulatory structures, and public investment) that provide increasing clarity around how ocean-based CDR can move forward.  This must include things like clarified permitting processes, and clearly identified oversight authorities. Detail on key elements of this priority can be found in the Public Support road map.

Investment in ocean-based CDR will not happen at the scale needed without addressing the current situation of policy and regulatory uncertainty. It is critical to build enabling governance frameworks (a mixture of policy, regulatory structures, and public investment) that provide increasing clarity around how ocean-based CDR can move forward.  This must include things like clarified permitting processes, and clearly identified oversight authorities. Detail on key elements of this priority can be found in the Public Support road map. (link to Public Support Road Map – First-Order Priority: Develop Effective Regulatory and Governance Structures) 

Develop Needed Foundations for an Ocean-based Carbon Market

A growing carbon market will be ultimately necessary for successful scaling of ocean-based CDR. Ensuring that ocean-based CDR pathways will be accepted into carbon markets will depend upon resolving some critical information challenges in the first instance, including:  

  1. Scope and develop the measurement technologies, and verification tools to support creation and application of standards and protocols for each ocean CDR approach to provide assurances to negative emissions markets.  (link to “Develop CDR Monitoring and Verification Protocols” priority in each of the technical maps)
  1. Develop the science needed to underpin standards for verifying carbon sequestration and permanence from various ocean-based CDR pathways.  For example, Oceans2050 is already developing a methodology for quantifying natural carbon sequestration underlying macroalgae farms[1]“Seaweed Project.” Oceans 2050, www.oceans2050.com/seaweed. , but additional science and research on carbon fate and transport is needed for macroalgae cultivation and sinking.

A growing carbon market will be ultimately necessary for successful scaling of ocean-based CDR. Ensuring that ocean-based CDR pathways will be accepted into carbon markets will depend upon resolving some critical information challenges in the first instance, including:  

  1. Scope and develop the measurement technologies, and verification tools to support creation and application of standards and protocols for each ocean CDR approach to provide assurances to negative emissions markets.  (link to “Develop CDR Monitoring and Verification Protocols” priority in each of the technical maps)
  1. Develop the science needed to underpin standards for verifying carbon sequestration and permanence from various ocean-based CDR pathways.  For example, Oceans2050 is already developing a methodology for quantifying natural carbon sequestration underlying macroalgae farms{{1}}, but additional science and research on carbon fate and transport is needed for macroalgae cultivation and sinking.

A growing carbon market will be ultimately necessary for successful scaling of ocean-based CDR. Ensuring that ocean-based CDR pathways will be accepted into carbon markets will depend upon resolving some critical information challenges in the first instance, including:  

  1. Scope and develop the measurement technologies, and verification tools to support creation and application of standards and protocols for each ocean CDR approach to provide assurances to negative emissions markets.  (link to “Develop CDR Monitoring and Verification Protocols” priority in each of the technical maps)
  1. Develop the science needed to underpin standards for verifying carbon sequestration and permanence from various ocean-based CDR pathways.  For example, Oceans2050 is already developing a methodology for quantifying natural carbon sequestration underlying macroalgae farms{{1}}, but additional science and research on carbon fate and transport is needed for macroalgae cultivation and sinking.

A growing carbon market will be ultimately necessary for successful scaling of ocean-based CDR. Ensuring that ocean-based CDR pathways will be accepted into carbon markets will depend upon resolving some critical information challenges in the first instance, including:  

  1. Scope and develop the measurement technologies, and verification tools to support creation and application of standards and protocols for each ocean CDR approach to provide assurances to negative emissions markets.  (link to “Develop CDR Monitoring and Verification Protocols” priority in each of the technical maps)
  1. Develop the science needed to underpin standards for verifying carbon sequestration and permanence from various ocean-based CDR pathways.  For example, Oceans2050 is already developing a methodology for quantifying natural carbon sequestration underlying macroalgae farms{{1}}, but additional science and research on carbon fate and transport is needed for macroalgae cultivation and sinking. (link to “Measure the Scale and Impacts of CDR via Macroalgae Sinking” in the macroalgae map)

A growing carbon market will be ultimately necessary for successful scaling of ocean-based CDR. Ensuring that ocean-based CDR pathways will be accepted into carbon markets will depend upon resolving some critical information challenges in the first instance, including:  

  1. Scope and develop the measurement technologies, and verification tools to support creation and application of standards and protocols for each ocean CDR approach to provide assurances to negative emissions markets.  (link to “Develop CDR Monitoring and Verification Protocols” priority in each of the technical maps)
  1. Develop the science needed to underpin standards for verifying carbon sequestration and permanence from various ocean-based CDR pathways.  For example, Oceans2050 is already developing a methodology for quantifying natural carbon sequestration underlying macroalgae farms, but additional science and research on carbon fate and transport is needed for macroalgae cultivation and sinking. (link to “Measure the Scale and Impacts of CDR via Macroalgae Sinking” in the macroalgae map)

Connect Corporate Demand for CDR to Ocean-based Pathways RD&D

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Corporate buyers of carbon removal (e.g., Stripe, Microsoft) can play a key role in providing support for RD&D needed to make future carbon credit purchases possible.

  • Scope creation of a “Carbon Removal Buyers Alliance” to pool demand and resources to help develop ocean-based pathways for carbon removal.  Such an Alliance could:
    • Provide early developmental and testing funding in exchange for future CDR options
    • Provide forward contracts for future purchase of CDR allowing entrepreneurs to make investments now
    • Develop and coordinate the specifications needed for the private removal market (as the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance did for wind and solar).  This also would build on existing investments and/or purchase of CDR[1]Fighting for the Future: Shopify Invests $5M in Breakthrough Sustainability Technologies (no date). Available at: https://news.shopify.com/fighting-for-the-future-shopify-invests-5m-in-breakthrough-sustainability-technologies (Accessed: 7 March 2021). [2]Stripe’s first carbon removal purchases (no date). Available at: https://stripe.com/blog/first-negative-emissions-purchases (Accessed: 7 March 2021). [3]Stripe’s second carbon removal purchases (May 26, 2021). Available at: https://stripe.com/newsroom/news/spring-21-carbon-removal-purchases (Accessed: 30 June 2021) , that have allowed for infusions of capital into entrepreneurial efforts needed to further test and develop these approaches. 

Corporate buyers of carbon removal (e.g., Stripe, Microsoft) can play a key role in providing support for RD&D needed to make future carbon credit purchases possible.

  • Scope creation of a “Carbon Removal Buyers Alliance” to pool demand and resources to help develop ocean-based pathways for carbon removal.  Such an Alliance could:
    • Provide early developmental and testing funding in exchange for future CDR options
    • Provide forward contracts for future purchase of CDR allowing entrepreneurs to make investments now
    • Develop and coordinate the specifications needed for the private removal market (as the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance did for wind and solar).  This also would build on existing investments and/or purchase of CDR{{1}}{{2}}{{3}}, that have allowed for infusions of capital into entrepreneurial efforts needed to further test and develop these approaches. 

Corporate buyers of carbon removal (e.g., Stripe, Microsoft) can play a key role in providing support for RD&D needed to make future carbon credit purchases possible.

  • Scope creation of a “Carbon Removal Buyers Alliance” to pool demand and resources to help develop ocean-based pathways for carbon removal.  Such an Alliance could:
    • Provide early developmental and testing funding in exchange for future CDR options
    • Provide forward contracts for future purchase of CDR allowing entrepreneurs to make investments now
    • Develop and coordinate the specifications needed for the private removal market (as the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance did for wind and solar).  This also would build on existing investments and/or purchase of CDR ,,, that have allowed for infusions of capital into entrepreneurial efforts needed to further test and develop these approaches. 

Research and Development of Markets for Key Co-Products

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Co-products generated from ocean-based CDR pathways need viable routes to market in order to provide revenues that can offset costs of ocean-based CDR deployment. Market analyses need to be performed that evaluate the potential for:

  • Existing markets to accommodate additional supply of co-products (e.g. hydrogen gas produced from electrolysis) (Understand Market Potential for Co-Products)
  • New markets to grow to match the supply of new co-products with buyers

Co-products generated from ocean-based CDR pathways need viable routes to market in order to provide revenues that can offset costs of ocean-based CDR deployment. Market analyses need to be performed that evaluate the potential for:

  • Existing markets to accommodate additional supply of co-products (e.g. hydrogen gas produced from electrolysis) (Understand Market Potential for Co-Products)
  • New markets to grow to match the supply of new co-products with buyers

Co-products generated from ocean-based CDR pathways need viable routes to market in order to provide revenues that can offset costs of ocean-based CDR deployment. Market analyses need to be performed that evaluate the potential for:

  • Existing markets to accommodate additional supply of co-products (e.g. hydrogen gas produced from electrolysis) (Understand Market Potential for Co-Products)
  • New markets to grow to match the supply of new co-products with buyers

Co-products generated from ocean-based CDR pathways need viable routes to market in order to provide revenues that can offset costs of ocean-based CDR deployment. Market analyses need to be performed that evaluate the potential for:

  • Existing markets to accommodate additional supply of co-products (e.g. hydrogen gas produced from electrolysis) (link to “Understand Market Potential for Co-Products” in Electrochemical CDR road map)
  • New markets to grow to match the supply of new co-products with buyers

Accelerate Technology Development

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Additional human and physical resources are needed to accelerate ocean-based CDR technology RD&D. Opportunities to accelerate RD&D include: 

  • Building new public-private partnerships, such as between universities, national laboratories, and industry to address critical bottlenecks in the technological readiness of various ocean-based CDR pathways.
  • Cataloging outstanding science questions/gaps pertinent to ocean-based CDR development and working with existing funders of basic and applied science to build funding programs around for the needed science.  One such option is encouraging relevant national science funding agencies (e.g., the US National Science Foundation), to open requests for proposals around key science needs.  

Additional human and physical resources are needed to accelerate ocean-based CDR technology RD&D. Opportunities to accelerate RD&D include: 

  • Building new public-private partnerships, such as between universities, national laboratories, and industry to address critical bottlenecks in the technological readiness of various ocean-based CDR pathways.
  • Cataloging outstanding science questions/gaps pertinent to ocean-based CDR development and working with existing funders of basic and applied science to build funding programs around for the needed science.  One such option is encouraging relevant national science funding agencies (e.g., the US National Science Foundation), to open requests for proposals around key science needs.  

Enhance Policymaker Awareness and Engagement

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Much higher levels of public investment are needed to move ocean-based CDR RD&D forward. This in turn requires a supportive policy environment. Supporters of ocean-based CDR must cultivate awareness and support among policy makers by: 

  • Developing targeted education and communication strategies for key policymakers at different levels of government to increase support for ocean-based CDR RD&D
  • Engaging a diverse coalition of organizations to help educate and inform policy and appropriations for ocean-based CDR RD&D.

Much higher levels of public investment are needed to move ocean-based CDR RD&D forward. This in turn requires a supportive policy environment. Supporters of ocean-based CDR must cultivate awareness and support among policy makers by: 

  • Developing targeted education and communication strategies for key policymakers at different levels of government to increase support for ocean-based CDR RD&D
  • Engaging a diverse coalition of organizations to help educate and inform policy and appropriations for ocean-based CDR RD&D.

Build a Supporting Ecosystem for Ocean-based CDR Entrepreneurs

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There are a number of emerging innovators and entrepreneurs working on ocean-based CDR, but they often lack access to the critical talent and expertise needed to move their innovations out of labs and into field trials and potential deployment. There are key actions that can help create a more supportive environment for these entrepreneurs.  

  • Facilitate related technology transfer out of academia: These road maps can be used to work with specific universities to profile needed technology development and then to help connect academics with external actors.  To facilitate better tech transfer, a series of outreach materials and webinars to familiarize ocean scientists and engineers with technology transfer offices at key universities would be useful. 
  • Build partnerships with leading accelerators, such as Y-Combinator[1]“Carbon Removal Technologies.” YC Request for Startups, carbon.ycombinator.com/ , the Ocean Solutions Accelerator, Creative Destruction Lab, Larta Institute, or Indie Bio to increase their focus on ocean-based CDR ventures and to access their expertise for building these ventures.  
  • Work with prizes and competitions, such as those hosted by The Ocean Exchange to ensure inclusion of ocean-based CDR in prizes and competitions.
  • Ensure that ocean-based CDR research and development is well represented in the myriad “ocean clusters” springing up (e.g., Alaska Ocean Cluster) to support a global Blue Economy 

There are a number of emerging innovators and entrepreneurs working on ocean-based CDR, but they often lack access to the critical talent and expertise needed to move their innovations out of labs and into field trials and potential deployment. There are key actions that can help create a more supportive environment for these entrepreneurs.  

  • Facilitate related technology transfer out of academia: These road maps can be used to work with specific universities to profile needed technology development and then to help connect academics with external actors.  To facilitate better tech transfer, a series of outreach materials and webinars to familiarize ocean scientists and engineers with technology transfer offices at key universities would be useful. 
  • Build partnerships with leading accelerators, such as Y-Combinator{{1}}, the Ocean Solutions Accelerator, Creative Destruction Lab, Larta Institute, or Indie Bio to increase their focus on ocean-based CDR ventures and to access their expertise for building these ventures.  
  • Work with prizes and competitions, such as those hosted by The Ocean Exchange to ensure inclusion of ocean-based CDR in prizes and competitions.
  • Ensure that ocean-based CDR research and development is well represented in the myriad “ocean clusters” springing up (e.g., Alaska Ocean Cluster) to support a global Blue Economy 

There are a number of emerging innovators and entrepreneurs working on ocean-based CDR, but they often lack access to the critical talent and expertise needed to move their innovations out of labs and into field trials and potential deployment. There are key actions that can help create a more supportive environment for these entrepreneurs.  

  • Facilitate related technology transfer out of academia: These road maps can be used to work with specific universities to profile needed technology development and then to help connect academics with external actors.  To facilitate better tech transfer, a series of outreach materials and webinars to familiarize ocean scientists and engineers with technology transfer offices at key universities would be useful. 
  • Build partnerships with leading accelerators, such as Y-Combinator, the Ocean Solutions Accelerator, Creative Destruction Lab, Larta Institute, or Indie Bio to increase their focus on ocean-based CDR ventures and to access their expertise for building these ventures.  
  • Work with prizes and competitions, such as those hosted by The Ocean Exchange to ensure inclusion of ocean-based CDR in prizes and competitions.
  • Ensure that ocean-based CDR research and development is well represented in the myriad “ocean clusters” springing up (e.g., Alaska Ocean Cluster) to support a global Blue Economy 

Develop Better Tools for Potential Investors

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  • Develop a publicly available database where people can track investments and projects. Ensure that this includes tracking of public investment in ocean-based CDR, and from countries besides the US and the European Union, to gain a full picture of the global landscape around ocean-based CDR.
  • Develop targeted outreach and materials for investor education to build their familiarity and comfort with CDR, and ocean-based CDR specifically (something akin to the Climateworks – Economist knowledge hub for ocean-based CDR pathways). Reach out to specific associations such as TONIIC.  
  • Develop comparative analyses (e.g., cost-benefit) between ocean-based CDR and terrestrial-based or technology-based CDR to inform and reduce barriers to entry for CDR investors looking to support ocean-based pathways.
  • Develop a publicly available database where people can track investments and projects. Ensure that this includes tracking of public investment in ocean-based CDR, and from countries besides the US and the European Union, to gain a full picture of the global landscape around ocean-based CDR.
  • Develop targeted outreach and materials for investor education to build their familiarity and comfort with CDR, and ocean-based CDR specifically (something akin to the Climateworks – Economist knowledge hub for ocean-based CDR pathways). Reach out to specific associations such as TONIIC.  
  • Develop comparative analyses (e.g., cost-benefit) between ocean-based CDR and terrestrial-based or technology-based CDR to inform and reduce barriers to entry for CDR investors looking to support ocean-based pathways.
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