This article was originally published by Carbon Herald.
On March 8, Nasdaq and Puro.earth presented a webinar that discussed the basics of carbon dioxide removal along with its important and highly increasing role in companies’ net zero journeys.
The webinar called “The Role of Carbon Removal in Achieving Net Zero” hosted speakers Robert Höglund, Climate Adviser at Marginal Carbon, Ted Christie-Miller, Head of Carbon Removal at BeZero Carbon, Antti Vihavainen, CEO of Puro.Earth, and Taylor Wright, Executive Director, Operational Sustainability at JPMorgan Chase & Co. The recording provided by Nasdaq can be watched here.
The event featured shared thoughts and expertise from these professionals who are active in supporting the functioning of the carbon removal market. It also spread information on how Nasdaq and Puro.earth are collaborating to create a platform for financing these carbon removal efforts through Puro.earth’s CO2 Removal Certificates (CORCs).
The Role Of CDR In The Net Zero Economy
Mr. Höglund shared valuable insights on the definition of carbon removal, avoided emissions, carbon removal methods and the role of CDR in the net zero economy. He explained that carbon removal encompasses the process of removing CO2 from the atmosphere and locking it away for decades, centuries, or millennia.
However, he highlighted that CDR includes aforestation projects but not natural regeneration of CO2 through managed forests. Some carbon removal methods are also cheaper than actions reducing emissions and the aviation sector was pointed out as an example.
Mr. Höglund explained that continuing the use of kerosine while compensating for emissions with carbon removal investments elsewhere might be cheaper now for airline companies compared to replacing their fleet with zero emissions aircrafts.
That is also one of the reasons why CDR plays a critical role in the economy right now. On the other side, achieving emissions reductions is needed for a sustainable economy and the main role of carbon removal still remains to eliminate the historic emissions from the atmosphere. According to scientists, even if carbon emissions are to stop tomorrow, the greenhouse gases already built up in the atmosphere will continue to warm the planet, therefore the world needs CDR methods to remove emissions that have piled up.
The prices of carbon removal solutions also vary. The current prices for some prototype CDR solutions that are tested on the path towards commercialization are quite high and they do not reflect their real market price. Biochar is one of the most mature CDR methods with a low average price of $179 compared to other engineered methods. However, carbon removals from biochar are more expensive than avoided emissions, forest protection or reforestation credits.
Scalability Of CDR
Ted Christie-Miller from BeZero Carbon also shared some insights from the supplier’s side perspective. He included information on the scalability of different carbon removal methods. BeZero Carbon has developed the first-of-its-kind Scalability Assessment for Carbon Removal Methodology.
Mr. Miller explained the importance of scalability of carbon removal solutions in a sector that has to expand from 60 kilotons today to 165 gigatons of cumulative removal by 2050. It is one of the fastest innovation curves in human history and the scaling challenge is nothing that the world has seen before.
Therefore, carbon removal solutions that companies pick need to have a high ability to have a meaningful contribution to drawing down emissions along with benefits like providing economic revenues and profits in order to unlock the entry of participants and technical innovation.
Antti Vihavainen, the co-founder and CEO of Puro.earth was also one of the speakers at the webinar, presenting Puro’s mission and role in the voluntary carbon market. He explained that Puro’s mission is “nothing less but to transform the world’s economy to reward negative emissions.”
The company is doing that by creating documents about what is negative emissions activities and processes. It is creating those together with the world’s best specialists, scientists, and practitioners.
Puro also runs and manages the verification framework, where independent auditors look into the evidence provided by suppliers of negative emissions. When the evidence is approved, Puro.earth issues CORCs or CO2 removal certificates into the Puro Registry that the company also runs.
JPMorgan’s Net Zero Journey
Taylor Wright, Executive Director at the Operational Sustainability team at JPMorgan Chase & Co also commented on the importance of carbon removals and the management of the internal process of identifying, evaluating, and sourcing CDR. She brought in the client’s side perspective and shared valuable insights about what corporations experience when they come in contact with carbon removal markets which is part of their decarbonization journey.
JPMorgan has set new targets to reduce its operational emissions, including a commitment to cut the firm’s Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. The company aims to achieve that by making investments in its buildings, branches and data centers. It is also investing in solutions in the voluntary carbon market to offset its carbon footprint that cannot be eliminated by renewable energy – mainly its business travel emissions.
She pointed out the importance of support from corporate leadership that would make the journey of building expertise in-house on how to decarbonize the company’s operations, a worthwhile effort. Taylor Wright also explained the processes JPMorgan goes through before purchasing carbon removals from the voluntary market.
The webinar hosted by Puro.earth and Nasdaq opens the floor of collaboration between specialists, intermediaries, suppliers and buyers that build the carbon removal market. Suppliers and intermediaries are working hard to provide a robust framework and verification methods that would ensure the integrity of the carbon removal credits, while buyers need continuous help and collaboration from the market when embarking upon its journey of offsetting its unavoidable emissions through carbon removal purchases.