This GAO report from 2010 undertakes the difficult task of estimating the amount of Federal research dollars spent on Carbon Dioxide Removal (“CDR”). The reasons this task is so difficult? Some funding is “generally” or “directly” applicable (i.e. focused on broader climate/environmental science and/or mitigation questions that overlap with questions about CDR) without being dedicated specifically to CDR — where to draw the line is not always clear. The table below from the report gives interesting order of magnitude estimates for this research funding as of five years ago:
The journal Nature has an interesting news feature up about biochar. My one complaint: I think the article frames the discussion on biochar too much on the question of “is biochar beneficial for soils?” as opposed to “in what circumstances is biochar most beneficial for soils?” This distinction is important — questions about whether we use biomass for biochar v. energy production/bio-materials/etc. depend directly on this latter question.
Africa’s Great Green Wall initiative (links from CSF, The Global Environmental Facility, The Guardian, and World Bank) shows both great promise and potential for large-scale, adverse unintended consequences. Projects like these deserve much greater awareness and scrutiny to highlight the role that afforestation could play in improving society, and the pitfalls inherent in such large-scale projects.