At the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), addressing climate change and supporting the nation’s climate goals is one of our top priorities—and more urgent than ever. We must do all we can to limit the harm caused by climate change to people, communities, the planet, and the economy.
The Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) is playing a critical role in DOE’s department-wide campaign to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and tackle the climate crisis. And to shape our ongoing efforts to address these challenges through deep decarbonization, we released our Strategic Vision, The Role of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management in Achieving Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions, on April 5, 2022.
Organized around the following three strategic directions, this Strategic Vision establishes a framework that will guide FECM’s carbon management efforts while keeping justice at the core of our work.
Advancing Justice, Labor, and Engagement
FECM will play an important role in achieving net-zero GHG emissions, but getting there in a just and sustainable way will require strong partnerships. It will take historic domestic and international efforts to re-establish global energy partnership coupled with environmental stewardship.
Accordingly, FECM will invest in building the networks that will advance decarbonization and justice for disadvantaged communities. FECM will place justice principles at the center of our funding decisions and partnership development. That includes expanding the meaningful participation of communities, especially those most impacted by energy and environmental injustices. We will also pursue the just distribution of benefits and the remediation of legacy harms while also mitigating new impacts.
At the same time, FECM will work to accelerate the growth and preservation of good-paying jobs in the production of responsible clean energy and climate change solutions. And we will foster collaboration and cooperation with a wide array of international and domestic partners, building strong working relationships with the many offices, agencies, governments, organizations, and communities that will be crucial in advancing this work.
Advancing Carbon Management Approaches toward Deep Decarbonization
The decarbonization imperative is clear: we must rapidly reduce the impacts of existing emissions-intensive infrastructure and processes, while also removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere at gigatonne-scale, and we must find environmentally responsible, equitable, and economically valuable means of converting or storing the captured (e.g., avoided) and removed CO2.
Therefore, FECM will support research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) in many carbon management approaches, focusing on point-source carbon capture, carbon dioxide conversion, carbon dioxide removal, and dedicated and reliable carbon storage and transport, to help the nation achieve net-zero GHG emissions.
Advancing Technologies that Lead to Sustainable Energy Resources
We are committed to investing in technologies that will build a strong and sustainable energy infrastructure while minimizing the environmental and climate impacts of fossil fuel extraction and transport.
FECM will invest in RDD&D for hydrogen production with carbon management using sustainably sourced carbon-based feedstocks, as well as in the advancement and demonstration of technologies to support DOE’s Hydrogen Shot target. We will also catalyze environmentally and economically sustainable domestic critical mineral and rare earth element production using unconventional feedstocks from legacy fossil waste. And we will work to minimize methane emissions during the production, processing, transportation, and use of coal, oil, and natural gas—eliminating non-trivial methane emissions from carbon-based fuel supply chains by 2030.
The Strategic Vision will guide FECM as we help advance the clean energy transition and achieve the nation’s climate goals. And it will provide a framework for DOE to make strategic carbon management decisions and ensure the investments we make in our energy infrastructure today will advance and support a clean energy, net-zero future.