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The U.S. government has a new goal to make it much cheaper to suck carbon dioxide out of the air. On Friday, at the United Nations’ climate conference, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm announced her agency’s new “Earthshot Initiative” to bring the cost of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it securely below $100 per metric ton. 

The Earthshots program is the Department of Energy’s attempt to help scale up some of the nascent technologies that could be required to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to make them cheaper. Today, we know how to generate clean electricity from the sun, wind, water, and the latent heat beneath the Earth’s surface. But we don’t yet have economical ways to fly airplanes, power large ships, make key materials like steel or cement, or grow food without sending planet-warming emissions into the atmosphere. 

The Carbon Negative Shot is the third program in the Earthshots series. The Department of Energy announced a Hydrogen Shot, a program to make clean hydrogen fuel 80 percent cheaper than it is today, in June. The agency also introduced a Long Duration Storage Shot, with an aim to reduce the cost of storin... Read more

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