Ocean Visions is facilitating an open process to engage actors across diverse disciplines and sectors towards collaborative development of detailed, “living” road maps to advance promising ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR) approaches.
These road maps are intended to identify critical paths forward to accelerate development and testing of various ocean-based CDR approaches. Road maps will identify the current state of technology readiness, the scale potential for CDR, key uncertainties, obstacles, opportunities, and priorities from a range of perspectives and disciplines, including natural sciences, engineering, policy, governance, economics, social equity and others. The road maps will be grounded in an evidence-based, precautionary approach towards implementation.
These roadmaps will likely be presented in a variety of formats to increase utility and uptake. The road maps are intended to marshal existing knowledge and expertise to catalyze increased action and deployment of the needed intellectual, physical, institutional and financial resources to ultimately determine the contribution these pathways may play to ameliorating the climate crisis through large-scale CDR. Determining the most effective ways to operationalize the road maps will be part of this first year’s work.
Given the current state of research and development, efforts will focus on three ocean-based CDR approaches that have emerged as frontrunners based on apparent technological feasibility and potential for scalability. These approaches include: (1) ocean alkalinity enhancement, (2) macroalgal cultivation and sequestration, and (3) electrochemical methods of carbon capture from seawater. As work progresses, we may include other approaches as well.
The roadmaps are intended to be living documents that are continually updated and refined as advances in science, technology, governance, and policy emerge. The exact form(s) of these roadmaps will be determined in the initial phase of the project in consultation with experts and potential end-users.
The road mapping process itself will be designed to engage experts and practitioners worldwide and to allow for iteration and improvement and tailoring to specific geographies, sectors, and scales. The process will also be built to allow for broad participation, self-selection into subgroups, and to facilitate a global crowd-sourcing approach to iterating and building out the roadmaps. A key deliverable will be initial design of an ongoing structure that supports and accelerates collaboration and action around ocean-based CDR.