Climate Change /

Nikki Haley Proposes Carbon Capture Technology To Address Climate Change

Leader of a young Republican climate policy organization calls her policy position 'refreshing'

In her bid to become the 47th President of the United States, former governor of South Carolina and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, a Republican, is taking on an issue that most members of her party avoid — climate change.

Haley entered the 2024 presidential race on Feb. 14, making her the first Republican to formally challenge former President Donald Trump for the job.

As part of her platform, Haley will directly address the issue of climate change. However, rather than focus on policies that seek to limit carbon emissions, Haley is planning to promote carbon capture technologies, which remove those emissions from the atmosphere.

While it is not expected to be a primary issue for Republicans in the 2024 presidential election, climate change is a top concern for younger voters, who have been showing up in greater numbers in recent elections.

Millennials and Generation Z now comprise 37 percent of U.S. eligible voters, which is roughly the same share of the electorate that Baby Boomers and pre-Boomers make up. And the 2022 midterm election had the second highest young voter turnout in the last three decades.

A survey from the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that 80 percent of voters aged 18-29 cite global warming as a “major threat” to life on earth. Other data show that climate change was the second most important issue that impacted the voting of people aged 18-29 in the 2020 election.

Republicans are largely dismissive of climate-related issues, often arguing climate change isn’t real or doesn’t pose a severe threat. Democrats have embarked on a campaign to eliminate fossil fuel use and a hard pivot to electric vehicles and appliances — policies that are projected to disrupt the U.S. economy.

Haley’s focus on carbon capture would address climate-related issues without increasing the strain on the U.S. electrical grid and without negative economic consequences of a hard shift away from fossil fuels.

Carbon capture infrastructure seeks to combat climate change by removing carbon emissions before they’re released into the atmosphere by using technology that captures CO2 gas and compresses it into a liquid-like form, which can then be transported to a storage site and buried safely underground.

“Other than Donald Trump, the era of climate denial with presidential candidates is going to be largely over,” Benji Backer, president of the American Conservation Coalition, a young Republican free-market climate change policy organization, told the Washington Post.

Backer also said it was “refreshing” to hear Haley address climate change head-on.

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