The US Energy Department said that it will invest $3.5 billion in four large-scale projects throughout the country to remove carbon dioxide from the air, a fledgling technology that the Biden administration believes is required to attain a target of net-zero emissions by mid-century.
The U.S. Department of Energy will fund a $3.5 billion program that would create four regional direct air capture hubs to spur the widespread deployment of the technology and carbon dioxide transport and storage infrastructure.
The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report last month that said the world will need “carbon dioxide removal” technologies. This could include planting trees that soak up carbon, or costly technologies to suck carbon directly from the air.
Carbon removal technology has gained major attention and investment in recent months. There are three major direct air capture projects that have emerged in North America and Europe. By midcentury, carbon removal will need to be deployed at the gigaton scale, meaning it would need to sequester the equivalent of emissions from approximately 250 million vehicles driven in one year.