A person in a pink sweater holding a lizard
  • Courtni Holness (she/her)

    Senior Policy Advisor, Carbon180
  • CEE-Change Fellow
  • 2023
United States

Courtni is committed to centering environmental and climate justice principles at the foundation of carbon removal development and deployment.

About Courtni

Courtni (she/her) fell in love with Mother Nature as early as she can recall experiencing it. Through many pitch-tent camping trips, river tubing, caring for a backyard garden of fruits and vegetables, and the Earth's awe-inspiring beauties, Courtni quickly learned to appreciate nature and the vitality in protecting it. Now, she is typically exploring the outdoors, listening to music, spending time with family and friends, or indulging in the satisfaction of an ice-cold scoop of mint chip.

Courtni applies her attention to detail and collaborative spirit to her role at Carbon180—a new breed of climate NGO on a mission to reverse two centuries of carbon emissions. As a senior policy advisor, Courtni designs federal policy recommendations that enable just, equitable, and high-accountability implementation of carbon removal solutions like direct air capture. Part of her work includes bolstering public and policymaker literacy in carbon removal. Courtni will bring her creative problem-solving skills and listening hat to the fellowship, as she is committed to learning and expanding her proficiency in environmental education. 

About Courtni’s Community Action Project (CAP)

Climate change is already causing disruptions to communities and ecosystems worldwide, and it hurts those with the least political capital the most. By removing emissions directly from the atmosphere, carbon removal goes beyond other mitigation tactics to address the root harm. Carbon removal involves tools that draw carbon out of the atmosphere and store it in oceans, rocks, forests, and soils, from practices that bolster carbon sinks in our soil and forests to chemistry-based methods like direct air capture.

Carbon180 is part of a coalition that applied for funding from the Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs program to explore the feasibility of establishing a community-led and potentially community-owned direct air capture hub in California’s southern San Joaquin Valley. The coalition will aim to co-develop a direct air capture hub concept from the ground up that centers on procedural and distributive justice, racial and economic equity, community benefits, environmental justice, and a just transition for the historically marginalized communities of the Central Valley, offering a new paradigm for working hand in hand with communities and prioritizing their needs in climate and energy transitions. 

Courtni’s community action project will partner with teammates and community-based organizations to create a carbon removal curriculum that represents the needs and challenges of Central Valley, California communities by incorporating storytelling, local voices, and lived experiences. This curriculum will support building community capacity to participate in local carbon removal projects.