Giana Amador | Executive Director, Carbon Removal Alliance

The science is clear: to avoid the worst impact of climate change, it won’t be enough to just reduce emissions. We’ll also need to permanently remove gigatons of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere and ocean. A wide range of technologies could deliver permanent and measurable carbon removal, from enhanced weathering to biomass carbon removal and storage to direct air capture. And today’s guest joins us today to talk about the promise of the carbon removal industry.

Giana Amador is one of the foremost thinkers on carbon removal and co-founded the first dedicated carbon removal organization, Carbon180, in 2015. At Carbon180, Giana wore many hats — from guiding the team’s strategy and communications to ultimately leading its policy program. During her time as policy director, Giana advocated for landmark carbon removal policies, including the $3.5 billion for direct air capture hubs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the first-ever dedicated carbon removal research program in the Energy Act of 2020. Giana has provided testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee and advised presidential campaigns on carbon removal priorities. Her past research focused on the political economy of renewable energy, with an emphasis on green industrial policy and coalition building.

Giana’s vision is to develop a carbon removal industry that is good for the climate, economy, and community. Carbon removal has the potential to become a massive industry and we can develop that in ways that can help communities, create economic opportunities, and help make our air and water cleaner. How do we ensure that the carbon removal industry scales rapidly with the urgency of the climate crisis, but also in a really high quality way? 

Show Notes:

[1:31] - Giana got into the carbon removal space in 2015 and she explains why.
[2:42] - The United States federal government has a lot of great tools to develop technologies that Giana was able to use after founding Carbon 180.
[4:03] - Giana shares the policies and incentives that have kickstarted the carbon removal field.
[5:55] - One thing that makes carbon removal unique is that there is no pre-existing market or customer for this solution.
[6:50] - Policy is a powerful tool to help with the market barrier.
[9:07] - There is a learning curve involved, especially when it comes to cost.
[11:39] - A lot of companies are starting to see, in addition to climate benefits, the non-carbon economic and community benefits.
[12:54] - The first generation of carbon removal policies were not written for scale.
[14:56] - Giana shares some goals in carbon removal and some of the challenges the Carbon Removal Alliance has in reaching them.
[16:32] - The Carbon Removal Alliances has a set of standards to ensure high quality while the industry scales rapidly.

Links and Resources:

Related Podcasts

Surabhi Shah | Senior Advisor, EPA

Read More

Zachary Tofias | Director of Food and Waste, C40 Cities

Read More

Carla Frisch | ED, DOE Office of Policy

Read More

Aliya Haq | VP, Breakthrough Energy

Read More