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Request for proposals: direct air capture and environmental and climate justice

Request for proposals: direct air capture and environmental and climate justice

Help create pathways for carbon dioxide removal (CDR) to contribute to climate resilience, stable jobs, healthy communities, and a just future for people and the planet. Initial project proposals are due by August 17, 2021.

The need for CDR is clear: Stabilizing our climate requires not just mitigating future emissions, but also addressing the legacy emissions that have been building in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. At ClimateWorks Foundation, we aim to advance carbon removal policies and projects that can help the world achieve its climate goals in ways that also center environmental and climate justice. To this end, we are looking to expand our partnership with organizations and people who are working on CDR solutions with an eye towards advancing racial, environmental, and climate justice in communities across the U.S. and globally. Moreover, we acknowledge the need to accelerate funding opportunities to groups focused on these issues. Therefore, the CDR Program at ClimateWorks is requesting proposals on topics with a joint focus on environmental and climate justice and Direct Air Capture (DAC) technologies in the United States.

While not exhaustive, topics of interest include:

  • Community organizing, grassroots coalition building, and shifting power to historically underserved groups and individuals focused on climate and environmental justice.
  • Policy conceptualization, design, and implementation related to issues including, but not limited to, mitigation deterrence, environmental or health impacts, benefit and risk sharing, job creation and workforce development, financing of projects, and community engagement and participation.
  • Research on issues related to the deployment of projects, or policy impacts and the implications with environmental and climate justice at the community level.

For this RFP we will only consider proposals centered on direct air capture and will not consider proposals and projects connected to the extraction of fossil fuel or point source carbon capture technologies. 

We welcome innovative proposals that have synergies with other climate strategies. Organizations led by Black and Indigenous people and other people of color, or youth, with annual budgets of less than $450,000 USD are strongly encouraged to apply.

Application process

The application process has two phases: Phase 1)  Completion of a short Letter of Inquiry (LOI) — see below for instructions and content) — Phase 2) An invitation to submit a full proposal for selected finalists. The maximum award amount is $150,000 per project. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Submission timeline

  • August 17, 2021, 17:00 PST: LOI submission deadline. Please email the LOI to  using the submission form below.
  • August 23, 2021, 17:00 PST: Invitation to submit a full proposal.
  • September 7, 2021, 17:00 PST: Full proposal submission deadline.
  • September 15, 2021: Award decision made.

For proposal-related questions, please email 

Review process

Letters of interest will be scored on the following considerations:

  1. Overall proposal narrative and information included (20 points)
  2. Connection(s) to addressing environmental and/or public health issues with relevant information on impacted communities (10 points)
  3. Organization’s historic connection and service to underserved communities (10 points)
  4. Potential for impact at the intersection of direct air capture development and underserved communities (10 points)

Instructions and guidelines for proposals will be included in the Invitation to Submit. 

The top five proposals will undergo an additional review process from the RFP advisory committee (members to be announced). 

How to apply

By August 17, 2021, complete this form and provide a high-level overview of planned approaches, issues related to environmental and climate justice that you seek to address, and how those concepts could be scaled, as well as a brief description of the team and relationship to historically underserved communities. The content should be no more than two pages; please attach resumes of key team members. 

About the ClimateWorks CDR Program

ClimateWorks launched the CDR Program in 2018 to catalyze and promote the CDR field. The program focuses on approaches in both the natural (forestry and agriculture) and technical (energy and industry) spaces, as well as approaches that combine the two, such as engineered wood. The growing environmental and climate justice portfolio within the CDR Program aims to catalyze support for groups focused on the development of policies and projects that center justice in their efforts. 

Sign up to receive future RFPs and updates from ClimateWorks.

Published July 9, 2021