Virgin's David Addison on the role of carbon sequestration technology

Emissions reduction and clean energy are often the only technologies that are talked about when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. David Addison, manager of the Virgin Earth Challenge, wants to bring carbon removal technologies into the conversation.

Addison talked with GreenBiz's Joel Makower in a Studio C interview during VERGE 2014 to talk about the Virgin Earth Challenge — a sort of X Prize for carbon sequestration technology. The $25 million prize will be awarded to the makers of a technology that meets five key requirements: proven science and engineering; demonstrable operation in lab and real world environments; greenhouse gas removal that scales and demonstrates longevity over the full technology lifecycle; a clear positive result without negative social or environmental impacts; and economic feasibility.

"It's interesting how often in the wider discourse, this area doesn't really get talked about," Addison said. "If it does, it gets talked about as a get-out-of-jail free card or a sort of magic bullet."

Addison maintained that carbon sequestration isn't a total solution, but should play a part in an overall carbon reduction portfolio. "I think fundamentally, you can have truly cyclical, circular or renewable energy systems of the future," Addison said. "The same with agricultural systems that aren't just low-carbon or carbon-neutral, but over the long term, net carbon-negative."