December 20, 2023 | By Jason Hochman and Aaron Benjamin

2023 is nearly in the books and it’s been a momentous one for the direct air capture sector which has kept us on our toes at the DAC Coalition. Aiming to serve as the nerve center for DACtivity, we are actively helping to catalyze this vibrant field and serve as a force multiplier for the work our members and partners are doing to get this critical technology researched, developed, deployed, and scaled. 

We’ve listed some of our key achievements below. If you feel inspired by any of them or new ideas are sparked, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us, we’d love to hear from you.

Growing the Coalition

The Direct Air Capture Coalition has grown to 109 members, partners, and observers, including 51 DAC companies, and a diverse array of DAC ecosystem and stakeholder partner organizations located around the world across five continents. 

  • 340% increase since our May 2022 launch and a 70% increase since January 2023.

Global Direct Air Capture Conference

The first annual Global Direct Air Capture conference was a resounding success. Alongside our partners Breakthrough Energy, Rocky Mountain Institute, and Columbia University’s Carbontech Development Initiative, the inaugural sector-wide conference hosted by the Direct Air Capture Coalition brought together experts, innovators, and stakeholders from across the globe. Bringing together over 200 attendees in person, and several hundred more tuning in virtually, highlights from the two day event included video remarks from US Climate Envoy John Kerry and Senator Bill Cassidy, engaging and insightful panels discussing issues ranging from innovation in DAC technology to policy frameworks for climate action to the geographic distribution of DAC costs & benefits to climate justice perspectives to project development challenges and opportunities, among others. We were also thrilled to provide the opportunity for DACC members and partners with a platform via lightning round presentations which spotlighted the incredible work our members are doing to advance all aspects of the DAC ecosystem. 

Raising Awareness and Educating Decision Makers

  • DACC has submitted input on various aspects on policy & regulations to:
    • U.S. Department of Energy
    • United Nations Article 6.4 Supervisory Body
    • European Commission
    • UK Department for Energy Security and Net-Zero
    • You can find our policy submissions here
  • Engaged in closed-door educational sessions with local, state, federal, and international policymakers on real-world challenges and opportunities related to DAC
  • Organized European climate NGO – DACC bridge-building/knowledge exchange sessions with Carbon Markets Watch
  • Featured in panels at global conferences championing DAC on climate change action, including Carbon Unbound USA, UNC Clean Tech Summit, Africa Climate Summit, and the Global Business Travel Association Sustainability Summit, among others
  • Engaged in extensive multimedia outreach through webinars, podcasts, and press coverage, with DACC voices quoted in outlets such as Politico, E&E News, Scientific American, and Energy Intel, among others. 

Connecting the Dots and Providing Opportunities 

  • Facilitated connectivity within ecosystem to enable partnerships via 270+ member communications platform and over 300 personalized introductions made 
  • Submitted DACC members and partners for consideration for the 2023 and 2024 Earthshot Prize Awards as an Official Nominator
  • Monthly DACC convenings featured prominent actors and key industry leaders such as National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Breakthrough Energy, World Resources Institute, EPA, Fervo Energy, Mitsubishi, National Wildlife Federation, Carbfix, BeZero Carbon, Bipartisan Policy Center, among others engaging the DACC community on topics such as technological development and commercialization pathways, progress tracking, Class VI Well permitting processes, clear energy sourcing, investment opportunities, community engagement strategies, sequestration partnerships, and other timely challenges and opportunities facing the sector. 
  • Worked with Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) to disseminate an opportunity to member companies with relevant technology to participate in DAC HVAC technical workshop. 

Building Community 

  • Beyond our flagship conference, the DACC has brought the DAC and CDR community together through our bi-monthly NYCDR happy hours in NYC, with our Climate Week event bringing together well over 300 people to network and build connections across the carbon removal ecosystem. 
  • We organized similar gatherings in Washington D.C., Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Nairobi, Kenya, Dubai, UAE, and London, UK. 

Sourcing Talent 

  • Through our partnership with Climatebase, the DACC Jobs Board has funneled jobseekers to open positions at DACC member companies and partner organizations. Postings have been viewed over 227,000 times and 124 applications have been submitted through the site. We know sourcing dedicated professionals will be critical to the growth and success of your companies and organizations and have created this resource to help build and support your capacity. 
  • Our team has been elected to the Executive Committee of the UK’s Greenhouse Gas Future Leaders Network, connecting young professionals in CDR and helping to establish a talent pipeline and fill talent gaps.

Catalyzing a Global Sector

While much of the focus on DAC is in North America and Europe, the DACC is focused on championing DAC around the world to enable deployment wherever possible and practical. To that end in 2023, we: 

  • Participated in thought leadership webinar to promote DAC and CDR in Australia.
  • Acted as a Core Partner and Mentor on the DACCathon in Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan.
  • Participated in Kenya’s National Workshop on Carbon Removal and organized sessions at the groundbreaking Africa Climate Summit, with DACC personnel appearing on well-received panels advocating for DAC to global stakeholders
  • Involved in the ideation and steering committee for a DAC Innovation Centre as part of the Energy Transition Zone in Scotland
  • Served as an execution partner of the CarbonRemovals at COP platform, and helped host the CDR community reception at COP 28 in Dubai, UAE, bringing together leaders in the space.

Creating Resources

We’ve been hard at work making sure the DACC website is a one-stop shop for those of you and your stakeholders who wish to learn more about DAC, compiling a host of useful resources:

  • DAC Reports Library: A curated library of over 200 reports, papers and publications complete with labels and data on topics covered
  • DAC FAQ: Provide credible source for foundational information about DAC
  • News Hub: Collection of latest news and developments about DAC around the world 
  • DAC Company Directory: Showcasing leading DAC innovators
  • DAC Video Library: Repository of DAC-focused educational videos
  • DACC Map: An interactive tool to explore DACC members, their niche, and where they are located 
  • Info Toolkit: Easy to use communications material to explain importance of DAC to key stakeholders
  • Monthly DAC Dispatch Newsletter: Over 2,000 subscribers to our monthly newsletter that provides market and member updates, events, and educational material 

We’re excited to continue to build on this work in 2024 and onwards!

Jason Hochman – Co-Founder & Senior Director

Aaron Benjamin – UK and Europe Lead