How much money is needed for US carbon removal? $100B yearly.

By Corbin Hiar | 04/10/2024 06:17 AM EDT

The Rhodium Group estimates that the U.S. needs to vastly increase taxpayer spending on technology to meet Biden’s climate goals.

A carbon removal factory in Iceland.

A carbon removal plant in Iceland operated by Climeworks is among fewer than 30 direct air capture facilities in the world. Halldor Kobbeins/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. government needs to spend roughly $100 billion annually on carbon dioxide removal by 2050 to help the world avoid extreme climate change, according to an analysis released Wednesday.

That’s 20 times more than what lawmakers committed to in landmark climate bills that aimed to jump-start the development of carbon removal technologies and companies, the Rhodium Group estimated. For context, the sum is also about as much as the entire budget of the Department of Agriculture.

The new analysis comes amid a fierce battle for control of Congress, the White House and the future of U.S. climate policy. The Republican Party is rallying behind former President Donald Trump, whose campaign has promised that if reelected he would “oppose all of the radical left’s Green New Deal policies.”


But Rhodium’s calculations could also bolster progressive critics of carbon dioxide removal who view government subsidies for the costly technology as a distraction in the fight against rising temperatures. Carbon removal companies use a variety of natural and engineered approaches to boost the carbon absorbing capacity of the planet.