Climate Action and Awareness Fund (CAAF) project

Robust Decision Making Using Dynamic Adaptive Policy Pathways for Direct Air Capture Deployment in Canada

Among negative-emissions technologies, direct air capture (DAC) is both the most promising and the least developed. A critical step to DAC policy development is an evaluative framework to support policy for the development and deployment of DAC technologies at scale and over time. This project develops a decision-support framework for direct air capture (DAC) that accounts for the scale of the enterprise, the immersive nature of the system with other infrastructural systems, and the substantial amount of uncertainty surrounding its deployment. We use a dynamic adaptive policy pathways (DAPP) approach, a method developed to address decision making under deep uncertainty, to generate a set of policy actions and contingency plans to navigate the development and deployment of DAC in Canada. The DAPP method uses futures scenarios, technological knowledge, and structured engagements with key informants to develop a portfolio of policy pathways for DAC and proposals for contingency planning over the long term, including approaches to monitor risks and opportunities, to contribute to Canada’s commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The Project proposes a novel application of the DAPP approach and has the potential to add significant foresight capacity to the government’s policy planning process for negative emissions technologies.

The project team is highly experienced and interdisciplinary, with expertise in engineering, economics, decision-support tools for environmental change, and law and governance. Project outcomes will be shared with specialists and the public via policy explainers, policy briefings and contributions to media.

The project is funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada under the Climate Action and Awareness Fund (CAAF).

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found that negative emissions technologies, such as direct air capture, combined with carbon capture and sequestration, may be key to keeping climate change well below two degrees. This project will help Canada anticipate the resource and governance requirements needed to develop and deploy these new technologies over the coming years.


Project Team

Monica Ho

Master's Student

Monica is pursuing a MASc in Chemical Engineering – Nanotechnology at the University of Waterloo, investigating carbon capture technologies. She brings with her 7+ years of experience in the North American power industry and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta.

Eric Croiset


Dr. Eric Croiset is a Chemical Engineering professor at the University of Waterloo with expertise in sustainable energy management, reaction engineering, the exploration of alternative energy and the optimization of carbon dioxide capture processes.

Vahid Barahimi

Research Assistant

Vahid Barahimi is a chemical engineer and researcher specializing in DAC (Direct Air Capture) technology. He has an MSc degree in chemical engineering with a focus on water treatment. As a research assistant in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Waterloo, he is part of a team working to develop direct air capture technologies that can effectively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.