A coalition spanning carbon removal startups, funders, and scientists say industry-wide standards are needed for tallying and verifying how much CO2 projects are sucking from the atmosphere, Ben writes.

Driving the news: A new open letter from a who’s who in the space calls for an “independent, not-for-profit initiative” to provide a “scientific stamp-of-approval for [carbon removal] protocols.”

  • Backers include officials with Stripe and Shopify (big players in brokering removal services), VC firm LowerCarbon Capital, removal startups like Climeworks and Charm Industrial, nonprofits CarbonPlan and Carbon180, and more.

Why it matters: As nascent removal industries grow, a lack of “robust and consistent” protocols threaten achievements of scale, the letter warns.

Threat level: Early actors are spending lots of time and money on detailed verification protocols, but “current efforts are not scalable and lack structures to ensure the sustainability and integrity of future…development.”

  • It’s important to avoid the problems that have “plagued” existing offset markets, such as “reliance on subjective counterfactual baselines.”

The big picture: Carbon removal tech — think direct air capture, enhanced CO2 uptake in rock formations, and many other methods — can complement zero-carbon energy if it achieves major commercial scale.

  • Most scenarios for meeting Paris Agreement temperature-limiting goals require carbon removal to play an important role, in addition to steep emissions cuts.
  • The letter comes as venture investment is pouring in and corporate giants are buying removal services to help meet their climate goals.

Catch up fast: The signatories are among a wider set of actors seeking to put scaffolding around the industry and harmonize diffuse verification work.

  • For instance, a CarbonPlan report last year found that lack of third-party verification standards will become an increasingly important barrier.

What’s next: The signatories plan to work with more stakeholders, sharpen the objectives, identify funding sources, coordinate with existing efforts, and more.

See Solar Reviews

See Affordable Solar Panels

Call Mobile Skip to content