On a High Note: New Carbon Group Invites Members to Pledge Commitment to Responsible Growth

On a High Note: New Carbon Group Invites Members to Pledge Commitment to Responsible Growth

Companies aiming to remove and sequester carbon from the atmosphere have finally gained traction this year, raking in billions of dollars worth of investments from venture capital firms and the Department of Energy. Now, the Carbon Business Council (CBC), an advocacy group launched Tuesday, wants to give leaders of these businesses a seat at the table with lawmakers to help put this promising technology to work. The council’s formation follows a bill from Senator Susan Collins that would promote the development of carbon sequestration.

Skeptics warn that carbon sequestration may not be the silver bullet that some advocates hope for, or worse, that it will be used as an excuse not to take measures that reduce emissions. Sequestration efforts may end up being too resource intensive or discourage ending carbon pollution. As University of Oxford researcher Emily Cox, who focuses on carbon removal innovation, put it to Grist: "Even the term ‘carbon management’ -- what that actually means in practice could be something that’s really amazing for the climate. It could also be the opposite.”

The CBC is made up of 42 member start-ups and aims to grow the industry responsibly, inviting members to adopt an ethical oath. Besides outlining the group's commitments to inclusivity and honesty, the oath pledges to "support efforts to reduce carbon pollution” before it gets into the atmosphere. Of its 42 members, 25 have signed on to the pledge.

"The oath is one part of a larger process,” said Ben Rubin, the group's executive director and co-founder. "Responsible growth will ultimately be talked about and developed by government policies and by regulations. As the industry grows, the oath will hopefully continue to be a benchmark or guidepost that we can come back to.”

CNBC: Why Tracking Carbon Emissions Is Suddenly A Billion Dollar Opportunity, September 14, 2021.

The Global City: How do we build a carbon market that works?, November 5, 2021.