Ecosystem Activation: Burning Man & Carbon Dioxide Removal

Thu. Dec 9, 2021 10:00am - 11:30am PST
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In 2019, Burning Man Project committed to a 10-year Environmental Sustainability Roadmap collaboratively written by 55 people. Our goals are to sustainably manage waste, be ecologically regenerative, and be carbon negative by 2030. 

To be carbon negative we aim to remove more carbon dioxide from the environment than we put into it. For Black Rock City we estimate that is around 54,000 metric tons of CO2. Estimates are that we — the global we — need to remove 900,000,000,000 tons of carbon from the atmosphere in order to avoid the disastrous ecological consequences of reaching 2°C (3.6˚F) of warming. If successful, that drawdown effort will likely be the largest collective human undertaking of all time. We need a paradigm shift in our relationship to the planet. We believe the global Burning Man community has a pivotal role to play. We may fail, but we think it’s important to try.

Part of achieving this goal will mean connecting with the land at a deep level. Ideally we’ll have a balance of ecological and technical approaches that are appropriate to the local landscape. When we published the 2030 roadmap in July of 2019, we knew CDR projects had to emerge for humans and ecology and wanted to be a part of that. As we noted: “There is an emerging constellation of drawdown techniques (e.g., planting mangroves, removing carbon dioxide from the air, sequestering carbon in rocks). The technology is rapidly scaling as the production costs for facilities and development falls exponentially. As far as we know, right now there isn’t an effective offset we could buy into that is sufficient for our scope. As solutions emerge we will identify and highlight resources and producers based on their best practices. By identifying this as our goal and identifying our scope, we hope a market of legitimate offsets will emerge.” This call is that moment.

In this call, we will share updates on our progress and strategy around our “Be Carbon Negative” goal and introduce you to projects we’re excited about. Learn more in our 2021 sustainability update. You’ll hear from folks at AirCapture, Buckminster Fuller Institute, Carbon Engineering, Climeworks, Nexus (LAGI 2020 Fly Ranch winner), and Project Vesta. You’ll also hear from five of the co-authors of Burning Man’s sustainability roadmap. You’ll learn about the carbon cycle from Dr. Lisa Beers, Fly Ranch Land Steward; be informed about our broader plans from carbon-negative goal lead and Fly Ranch Director Matt Sundquist; understand the Black Rock City emissions review led by Marnee Benson, Burning Man Project Director of Government Affairs; learn about climate tech innovation from Ryan Kunsher; and hear a broader context from Burning Man cultural co-founder Will Roger.

We have a plan for carbon dioxide removal that we will review on the call as part of our discussion about sustainability at Burning Man Project. We welcome feedback and collaboration. 

Schedule forthcoming - Check back soon!

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