Next Level Transparency in Carbon Removal

02 Aug 2022 | Peter Reinhardt


Next Level Transparency in Carbon Removal

Today we’re announcing the release of the prototype protocol for bio-oil sequestration authored by scientists and experts at Carbon Direct and EcoEngineers. We’re also rolling out major transparency upgrades to our carbon removal registry to show the complete life cycle analysis for every one of our carbon removal deliveries, publicly.

How does a carbon removal customer really know that carbon dioxide has been removed from the atmosphere? Carbon removal doesn’t arrive at a loading dock for quality assurance. It’s delivered digitally via “certification” that the method removes carbon, and “verification” that the certified method was executed.

But how should certification and verification be done? Historically, offsets have been certified and verified by a third party based on private datasets. The offsets are then delivered to customers as a beautiful certificate with a gold seal and a signature. Unfortunately, scientists from UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Oxford have found that these official optics have not guaranteed that the offsets actually had the desired carbon impact. See here, here, here, here, here and here as recent examples.

We believe it’s important to get back to the core principle that builds trust anywhere: transparency. Trust is earned in the open.

As a big step into the open today, we’re thrilled that Carbon Direct (specifically Dr. Julio Friedmann, Dr. Erica Belmont, Dr. Daniel Sanchez, Dr. Matthew Potts) and EcoEngineers have authored a prototype protocol for bio-oil sequestration. The document outlines in detail the major carbon accounting issues at stake in bio-oil sequestration, how to handle them, what needs to be measured, etc. It also provides guidelines for monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) and management of geological storage risks. This prototype will form the basis of a detailed operational protocol in the years ahead. Rather than keep it as a private draft between companies, we’re excited to publish it for all to inspect, critique, provide feedback, and (we hope) celebrate as a rigorous new pathway for carbon removal.

But that’s not all for today!

In 2021 we worked to raise the bar in the carbon removal industry from “funding announcement” to “delivery announcement” by shipping customer deliveries of 5,400 tons CO₂e net removal, the largest ever by at least an order of magnitude. All of those deliveries have been publicly documented on our carbon removal registry for the past year.

This year we want to push the bar further, to delivery announcements with publicly accessible life cycle analyses supporting the legitimacy of the delivery. That means for each and every delivery in our public registry, we will show the unique life cycle analysis with detailed line items that document each step in the delivery process. We’re excited to launch this today for all past and future deliveries – go check it out:

Lastly, we’re also excited to announce a tranche of new carbon removal deliveries (with accompanying public life cycle analyses of course!). As Charm continues to mature our carbon removal pathway towards a production supply chain, our capacity will slowly and then rapidly increase. Today we’re releasing another 70 tons CO₂e of deliveries on the registry. A huge thank you to the 142 buyers represented in this delivery, you make this possible!

You can read and download the prototype protocol for bio-oil sequestration here.

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Peter Reinhardt


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