A Review of the Social and Justice-Related Implications of Direct Air Capture Deployment at Scale

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Environmental Sciences
Physical Sciences and Mathematics
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Green, Adam

On a rapidly warming planet where efforts to curb carbon emissions have fallen short, carbon dioxide removal (CDR) approaches and technologies will become increasingly important to understand and implement at scale. Direct air capture (DAC) is one of the most promising CDR technologies, but implementation and scaling of DAC technology must be approached intelligently. DAC’s detractors have largely written the technology off as too risky, too expensive, or both, but DAC at scale is already becoming a reality. The goal of this research is to review the hazards of DAC deployment, or the lack thereof, in order to successfully integrate environmental justice considerations into its deployment. Previous publications and the current political climate will be reviewed as it pertains to DAC, and overall considerations and recommendations for environmental justice mapping and policy will be presented based on analysis of the literature. As wide scale DAC deployment becomes cheaper and more feasible, the findings of this project could be used to ensure careful decision-making and consideration of the hazards of that deployment. Ultimately, this research could contribute positively to a more equitable future in which DAC serves as a vital piece of a portfolio of global climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

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