The Challenge Will Unlock Game-Changing Capital Supporting High-Quality Carbon Dioxide Removal to Meet Climate Goals

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) today issued a notice of intent (NOI) to launch a Voluntary Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchasing Challenge (“Challenge”). The Challenge will call on external organizations to join DOE in purchasing high-quality carbon dioxide removal credits, following the Department’s recent commitment to procure $35M through the Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchase Pilot Prize. The Challenge’s innovative public-private partnership structure aims to catalyze carbon dioxide removal credit purchases and improve transparency of the carbon dioxide removal credit supply. This effort supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s climate goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, as well as the goals of DOE’s Carbon Negative Shot, which aims to reduce the cost of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to less than $100 per net metric ton of carbon dioxide-equivalent by 2032, together with robust monitoring, reporting, and verification and secure storage. The Challenge comes during a decisive decade where removals projects must move rapidly to full commercial scale to meet climate goals in coming decades. 

“The Voluntary Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchasing Challenge is the latest effort by the Department of Energy to advance and rapidly scale up the carbon dioxide removal industry to meet the Biden Administration’s climate goals,” said Brad Crabtree, Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. “Overall, it aims to galvanize voluntary private sector carbon removal credit purchases by reducing costs, improving monitoring, reporting, and verification tools and protocols, and ensuring that carbon dioxide removal delivers community, workforce, and environmental benefits.”

While no new funding will be made available through this Challenge, it aims to foster further private spending on removal credits by connecting top suppliers and buyers, as well as creating a leaderboard of carbon removal purchases. This leaderboard will enhance market transparency, giving organizations interested in carbon removal credit purchases greater confidence to move forward. To encourage as many entities as possible to join the Challenge, DOE does not envision a floor to participate, and will encourage purchasers to disclose all removal credit purchases, not just those matching DOE Purchase Pilot Prize winners.

For suppliers, the Challenge will provide an additional opportunity for DOE to evaluate their credits.

The terms of the Challenge, detailed in the NOI, are not finalized, and FECM is seeking public input on how to structure the Challenge, as well as on interest in joining the Challenge when it formally launches later this year. FECM encourages all interested parties, including public, private, and civil society organizations and carbon dioxide removal credit buyers and suppliers to provide input, questions, and feedback on the Challenge.

Please click here to review the NOI. Interested parties may submit comments electronically to VoluntaryCDRchallenge@hq.doe.gov and include “Voluntary CDR Purchasing Challenge” in the subject line no later than May 15, 2024. Responses must be provided as attachments to an email. Only electronic responses will be accepted.

FECM minimizes environmental and climate impacts of fossil fuels and industrial processes while working to achieve net-zero emissions across the U.S. economy. Priority areas of technology work include carbon capture, carbon conversion, carbon dioxide removal, carbon dioxide transport and storage, hydrogen production with carbon management, methane emissions reduction, and critical minerals production. To learn more, visit the FECM websitesign up for FECM news announcements, and visit the National Energy Technology Laboratory website.

###