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Legal Pathways to the Broad Use of Negative Emissions Technologies and Direct Air Capture of Greenhouse Gases

May 2018

Citation: 48 ELR 10413

Issue: 5

Author: Tracy Hester

Deep decarbonization will have to explore the use of negative emissions technologies (NETs), which include the direct air capture (DAC) of ambient carbon dioxide. NETs capture or consume more carbon dioxide than they emit, and DAC is a subset of NETs that use any industrialized chemical or physical methods to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and then store or reuse those gases, typically in a way that does not allow them to escape. While still nascent, NETs include a wide array of approaches such as biomass energy with carbon capture and sequestration, enhanced weathering of minerals, and the direct mechanical capture of ambient carbon dioxide through filters and chemicals. This Article, excerpted from Michael B. Gerrard & John C. Dernbach, eds., Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States (forthcoming in 2018 from ELI Press), focuses on the legal pathways needed to accelerate the development and use of NETs and assure their proper governance.

Tracy Hester is a Lecturer at the University of Houston Law Center.

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