03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Negative Carbon: Why is it not on the table?

With all the hoopla here in Copenhagen over a carbon deal, a major piece of the solution is not even part of the proposed framework- taking carbon out of the atmosphere - or negative carbon.

China sucked up the lion's share of the carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol since they pollute so much with inefficient power plants and factories.

Africa and Latin America outside Brazil, on the other hand, with much more modest GDP's have not been able to benefit since they do not have much emissions in the first place.

Enter the concept of Negative Carbon - giving credit to projects which take carbon out of the atmosphere. This is not merely preserving rainforests which are natural carbon sinks, but proactively taking carbon out of the air.

Dr. Graciela Chichilnisky is leading the charge here in Copenhagen on introducing this novel concept.

Dr. Chichilnisky is one of the original architects of cap and trade and has been around these talks for well over a decade. She states that technology to take carbon out on large scales is now feasible and we must turn to such technology to maintain the 350 ppm goal of atmospheric CO2. We are already beyond that line and carbon dioxide stays up in the air for about 60 years. Even if we stopped all emissions now, it would still take decades to fall back to 350 ppm.

Let's see if this congent idea takes hold in the circus of negotiations....