New York: New Jersey greenlights carbon-eating concrete

walk it back
2 min readMar 20, 2023

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To house the world’s burgeoning population, an additional 2.4 trillion ft2 (230 billion m2) of new floor area will be added to the global building stock in the coming decades. That’s the equivalent of adding a New York City to the world every month for 40 years. That’s a lot of concrete.

But what if all that concrete being poured all over the world was actually capable of storing and locking away carbon? What if cities were to become agents of carbon elimination?

Just last month New Jersey took a step towards that vision. Members of the Open Air Collective, a brilliant global network of carbon removal researchers, start-ups, and enthusiasts, worked directly with the city council for over two years to look at policy options for scaling low carbon / carbon removing concrete.

In February, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that incentivises the implementation of concrete in construction projects with lesser carbon emissions than traditional concrete, an industry associated with 7% of global carbon emissions.

The law provides tax credits for assessing the “global warming potential” of different concrete mixes, and for concrete used in state projects whose production has lower carbon emissions or captures or recycles carbon generated through the manufacturing process. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection will work to establish embodied carbon standards.

Pretty smart, huh?

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walk it back

walk it back is a bold new climate campaign calling for a global step-change in carbon removal