Qatar’s World Cup Carbon Program Expands to Issue up to 50M Carbon Credits

Qatar’s Global Carbon Council (GCC) is expected to issue 20-50 million Mt of credits this year once submitted projects are verified.

The credits were initially used to offset the unavoidable emissions of the World Cup 2022.

The GCC is also expecting to have 2,000 projects submitted by the end of 2022. This puts the carbon program on a par with an established registry like the Gold Standard which has over 2,000 listings.

What is the GCC Program?

The GCC was established as the first global voluntary carbon offset program in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region. It’s an initiative of the Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD).

The program is to supplement the existing carbon market programs to address carbon offsetting in the MENA region. Its design has the following principles and elements of a carbon program:

The carbon credits from the projects registered with the GCC are called the Approved Carbon Credits (ACCs).

It also got approval from CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) of the International Aviation Organization (ICAO). This gives the program global recognition for the integrity of its carbon credits issuance.

GCC’s rules are from various processes, standards, and tools to ensure the following:

GCC plans to will launch regulatory frameworks for the following project types:

Carbon Capture and Storage,
Carbon Capture and Utilization,
Direct Air Capture,
battery storage projects,
renewable energy-based desalination plants,
water-saving projects, and
scaling up energy-efficient buildings and neighborhoods.

Indeed, there’s big potential for carbon credits in the MENA region as solar, blue, and green hydrogen, and emission reduction initiatives are taking off. And all these qualify for carbon credits.

GCC has issued 133,000 credits since 2020 when it began receiving carbon reduction projects. The Council had received about 200 projects with 121 of them evaluated already.

Meanwhile, between 80 to 85 projects are yet to go through stakeholder approval.

In total, the projects can account for about 40 to 50 million carbon credits. But the Council expects to have only 20 million ACCs by the end of this year as most projects are still in the ongoing registration and verification stage.

The GCC program also hopes to receive ~2,000 project submissions by the end of this year. If this will happen as expected, the program will be among some of the top carbon offset programs.

For instance, Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) has more than 1,806 certified projects in its registry. The VCS is the most well-known and reputable program in the market today.

Likewise, about 2,400 projects are certified and verified by the Gold Standard. It comes second to Verra in terms of the volume of carbon credits it issues.

How does GCC project approval work?

In approving and registering projects, the program follows its regulatory framework illustrated in the figure below.

The inner circle represents major operations done by the GCC Program. The outer circle shows the key stakeholders and their roles in the registration process.

Before approval can be done, the project must go through a local stakeholder consultation process. After that, the Project Owner submits the project to a GCC Verifier.

Once verified, the Project Owner can submit a project registration request to the GCC program. The project will then be ready for the approval of the GCC Steering Committee.

Following the approval and registration of the project, credits are issued into the GCC registry. From there, buyers and sellers can trade carbon credits.

But it’s important to note that the GCC doesn’t have any role in pricing the credits or the transactions.

It only facilitates credit transfer between the parties. Yet, it gives opinion on whether the project meets the carbon offset program rules, it’s real, additional, and verifiable.

There are certain methods and standards that the program follows to base their opinion on a project. They’re to ensure the environmental integrity of the project.

According to GCC’s COO Rajhansa, the next step for the Council is to connect carbon exchanges to its registry. This is to make it possible for spot trading of the credits.

He also said that Air Carbon Exchange and Xpansiv have expressed intent to partner with GCC.

The post Qatar’s World Cup Carbon Program Expands to Issue up to 50M Carbon Credits appeared first on Carbon Credits.

UK Invests £54M in 15 Projects Developing Carbon Removal Technologies

The UK government invested £54 million into 15 projects that develop carbon removal technologies.

The funding comes under Phase 2 of the Direct Air Capture and Greenhouse Gas Removal technologies competition. It’s worth a total of £60 million with 23 winners during its Phase 1. Out of those, 15 were able to progress to Phase 2 that will receive a total of £54.4 million.

The investment will help projects to further develop their GHG removal technologies. These include a machine that pulls CO2 out of the air, a system that removes CO2 from seawater, and a plant that converts waste into hydrogen.

As per Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands:

“This £54 million government investment announced today will help establish a greenhouse gas removal industry in the UK… which could be worth billions to our economy, bringing in private investment and supporting the creation of new green jobs.”

Establishing Carbon Removal Technologies in the UK

This UK government program is funded through the BEIS Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. It provides support for the following 4 major types of carbon removal technologies.

Direct Air Carbon Capture (DACC): this technology uses chemical reactions to capture CO2 from the air as it passes through the system. The captured CO2 can then be stored or used in making products or applications.

Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS): captures and stores carbon from organic materials. Then the technology converts it into useful energy such as heat, electricity, liquid or gas fuels.

Biochar: a form of charcoal produced when organic matter burns without oxygen. Biochar is rich in carbon and can be a fertilizer.

Seawater: The oceans absorb CO2 but because of a big increase in carbon emissions from human activities, they suck in more than before. So they’re becoming more acidic. This technology can remove CO2 from seawater directly to help restore its natural balance.

These carbon removal technologies are vital to meeting net zero carbon emissions by 2050. So funding the projects that develop them is very important.

While the UK government is working hard to transition away from fossil fuels, carbon removal technologies are also crucial to offset emissions from hard-to-abate sectors.

This recent investment will contribute towards building a thriving carbon removal industry in the UK. In fact, the government has sought advice from stakeholders on how it can help put the UK at the forefront of the carbon removal sector.

Here’s the sneak peek of the 15 projects that won the competition.

1. Advanced Biofuel Solutions Ltd. – “Biohydrogen Greenhouse Gas Removal Demonstration”. Project funding: £4,750,429.16.

This project will take a synthesis gas from household waste and convert it into low carbon hydrogen for use in road transport. All the while capturing CO2 from the process for use in the industry.

2. Black Bull Biochar Ltd. – “The Biochar Platform”. Project funding: £2,997,622.15.

This project aims to pilot a business-to-business (B2B) platform that creates the first fully integrated biochar system in the world. It can help develop the carbon removal technologies industry in the UK by removing ~50,000 tons by 2030.

3. Cambridge Carbon Capture Ltd. – “Direct Air CO2 Capture and Mineralization (DACMIN)”. Project funding: £2,999,964.00.

This DAC project will deliver a pilot plant that captures 100 tons of CO2/year from the air using the firm’s CO2LOC technology. It seeks to build, test, and assess the CO2LOC technology to provide data to aid a computer model of a plant designed to capture 50kt CO2/year.

4. CO2CirculAir B.V. – “SMART-DAC”. Project funding: £2,941,301.44.

This innovative DAC tech uses wind to capture CO2 via membrane gas absorption (through electrodialysis). It assures a 24 hours/day CO2 absorption using stable liquid absorbent with no use of heat but only electricity from renewable sources.

5. Coal Products Limited (CPL) – “Bio-waste to biochar (B to B) via Hydrothermal Carbonization and Post-Carbonization”.
Project funding: £4,997,822.00.

This biochar project will provide the possibility of turning biowaste into biochar in an optimized process design and large-scale production. Biowaste has high potential to improve the supply of raw materials for biochar production. Biochar can make a big contribution to the UK goal of removing 35M tons of carbon/year by 2050.

6. Ince Bio Power Limited – “Ince Bioenergy Carbon Capture & Storage (INBECCS) – Phase 2”. Project funding: £4,992,408.30.

The INBECCS Project will design and deliver a 10 ton/day carbon capture pilot plant at the HyNet North West industrial cluster. It seeks to pioneer the first commercial scale carbon capture on a biomass waste gasification facility.

7. KEW Projects Ltd. – “CCH₂: Carbon Capture and Hydrogen”. Project funding: £4,998,409.19.

This project will show how a modular BECCS hydrogen system can deliver 50ktCO2/year of carbon removal during 2025-2030. It will also demonstrate how it can scale to 24 MtCO2/year in the following decade.

8. Lapwing Energy Limited – “Reverse Coal”. Project funding: £2,999,822.60.

Reverse Coal is an engineered natural solution to remove CO2 from the air and bury it underground in the form of a carbon rich char, akin to coal. It will not only provide carbon sequestration but also avoid further emissions from peatlands by rewetting. The project can scale to remove over 1Mt of CO2/year.

9. Mission Zero Technologies Ltd – “Project DRIVE (Direct Removal through Innovative Valorization of Emissions)”. Project funding: £2,997,822.16.

The project will build, deliver, and operate a 120 tCO2/year DAC pilot plant based on Mission Zero’s IP. This DAC tech can reduce energy use and cost by 3x – 5x compared to today’s levels. It can also bring CO2 into useful applications while locking it away for good like manufactured limestone.

10. NNB Generation Company (SZC) Limited – “DAC powered by Nuclear Power Plant”. Project funding: £3,000,000.00.

This project will develop and build a heat-powered DAC plant that offers higher efficiency and less reliance on electricity than current DAC tech. If scaled up, this DAC plant can capture 1.5 million tons of CO2/year using 400MWh of heat from the power plant. This carbon removal capacity can offset the UK’s entire railway transport emissions.

11. Ricardo UK Ltd. – “BIOCCUS”. Project funding: £2,986,349.43.

This unique project combines biochar production and CCUS (carbon capture, use and storage). It seeks to test a new biomass pyrolysis based cogeneration system with BIOCCUS to help scale carbon removal technologies in the UK. It uses forestry waste to create biochar, CO2, electricity and heat.

12. Rolls-Royce plc – “ENCORE (ENvironmental CO2 REmover) Phase 2”. Project funding: £2,812,704.12.

This innovative system will enable the widespread, low-cost CO2 removal by using a low regeneration temperature and very durable absorption liquid tech. It’s designed with engineering expertise to provide a very efficient and flexible product.

13. SAC Commercial – “GreenShed”. Project funding: £2,934,428.75.

This initiative aims to reduce emissions in the livestock farming sector by developing an integrated low carbon, circular, cattle and vertical farming system. It will capture methane (with 26x more warming impact than CO2 over a century) from housed cattle. The system will then use the heat, CO2, and power from methane combustion to produce low carbon produce. If implemented across the sector this can lead to 50% emissions reduction from these systems.

14. Severn Wye Energy Agency – “Mersey Biochar”. Project funding: £2,934,428.75.

The project’s goal is for small scale biochar processing facilities to connect onto communal and district heat networks. This will decarbonize heat and energy through biochar pyrolysis technology that turns underused biomass into biochar. And so, it captures carbon during the process and sequesters it for a very long time.

15. University of Exeter – “SeaCURE”. Project funding: £2,999,848.34.

SeaCURE uses the natural behavior of the carbon cycle – the ‘sucking’ of CO2 from the air by rising atmospheric CO2 levels in the ocean. The system leverages this natural CO2 capture by stripping >90% of the CO2 out of the seawater so that the CO2 gradient between air and seawater grows. In effect, there’s more CO2 removed from the atmosphere because there’s higher concentration of this gas in seawater than in air.

The post UK Invests £54M in 15 Projects Developing Carbon Removal Technologies appeared first on Carbon Credits.

DeepMarkit Platform Receives Critical Quantstamp Security Assessment Certificate

DeepMarkit announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, First Carbon Corp (FCC), received a Security Assessment Certificate from Quantstamp.

Quantstamp is a leader in blockchain security and has protected over $200 billion in digital asset risk from hackers. Its services include securing Layer 1 blockchains, securing smart contract powered NFT and DeFi applications.

Quantstamp evaluated and passed security-related issues, code quality and adherence to specifications and best practices related to the smart contracts of FCC’s platform DeepMarkit complied with Quantstamp’s audit process to review and test the platform’s blockchain-based smart contracts.

FCC incorporated recommendations from Quantstamp to complete the audit and earn the Certificate. All audited smart contracts are now ready to be deployed in the platform.

With Web3 security more critical than ever, developers are encouraged to test and evaluate codes through a third-party security auditor.

Hence, DeepMarkit’s engagement of Quantstamp through FCC is aligned with its goal of ensuring the security of the platform for users and stakeholders.

Read the full News Release HERE.

The post DeepMarkit Platform Receives Critical Quantstamp Security Assessment Certificate appeared first on Carbon Credits.

Xpansiv Receives $400 Million Funding from Blackstone

US equity giant Blackstone invested $400 million funding to carbon offset commodity exchange Xpansiv.

The investment is part of Xpansiv’s long term financing arrangement with Blackstone.

Xpansiv is the leading market platform that allows firms to trade carbon offsets so that they can meet their climate goals. The exchange connects buyers and sellers of ESG-focused commodities like carbon. It also provides market data for voluntary carbon offsets and renewable energy credits.

Xpansiv’s software provides the underlying data backing up the assets linked to green projects. Investors can then use the corresponding credits to offset their carbon emissions. Thus, it supports companies that seek to meet their emissions reduction goals.

For Blackstone’s Managing Director, Bilal Khan:

“We believe environmental commodities are a critical new asset class that must scale exponentially to meet climate change mitigation targets… Xpansiv is a leader in this space, and we are delighted to provide the capital and resources to help them further expand their offerings and accelerate their growth…”

Blackstone is the world’s largest private-equity firm. Its funding with Xpansiv is through its energy-focused equity business Blackstone Energy Partners. It’s a leading energy investor with a proven track record in the global energy industry.

Blackstone’s $400 equity investment will help Xpansiv pursue its strategic growth.

Blackstone Funding Arrangement with Xpansiv

Xpansiv’s CEO Joe Madden said that Blackstone’s support is a major milestone for the exchange’s vision for commodity markets that value ESG. He also added that:

“This partnership will help us solidify our leading position in carbon and leverage our platform to scale markets and products… to speed up the energy transition across renewable energy, digital fuels, and beyond.”

In 2021, Xpansiv acquired SRECTrade, HVB, and OTX. The present funding from Blackstone is for acquiring 100% of APX.

APX is a registry provider for commodities markets. Acquiring it will enable Xpansiv to further expand its market and product offerings.

Trading carbon credit offsets

Xpansiv’s trading platform is hosting over 90% of all voluntary carbon credit transactions.

In 2021, Xpansiv recorded $305 million in revenue (~300% higher than 2020). And carbon trading volume was 4x more than 2020 levels (over 120 million tons of carbon).

The carbon exchange provides the tools vital for standardizing prices of carbon in the financial system. Experts say that is crucial to spur emissions reductions by big companies.

Xpansiv’s partnership with CME Group, in particular, was for its carbon offset futures contracts. They allow traders to wager on what a ton of carbon will cost years from now. Entities use carbon offsets to mitigate their carbon emissions.

The exchange says that carbon trading is growing in a fast pace. In fact, Xpansiv reported that they got about 150 more customers in the 1st quarter of this year.

As more companies make net zero pledges, there is a growing need to connect them with the developers of CO2 reduction projects.

Xpansiv works with carbon offset programs such as Verra and Gold Standard that register projects and verify their climate impact. Their oversight is expanding.

Meanwhile, Xpansiv helps address market issues by centralizing data about those projects.

Other backers of Xpansiv include S&P Global and venture funds from large firms. These include the BP PLC and Occidental Petroleum Corp.

As per David Foley, Global Head of Blackstone Energy Partners:

“Xpansiv has a first-mover advantage, and Blackstone’s investment will enable them to capitalize upon that lead… creating a uniquely positioned company with ownership of technology and a scalable exchange for trading voluntary carbon offsets…”

Foley, along with many others, believe that the offset market will witness huge growth over the next decade.

The partnership continues Blackstone’s thematic investments in climate solutions space. The investor said it will pour money into firms that limit fossil fuel investments. It’s raising energy funding that’s not allowed to invest in oil, coal, or gas exploration.

Blackstone believes that the demand for energy transition is exploding and Xpansiv is in a sweet spot for it.

The funding arrangement has an initial 6-year term and may grant Blackstone certain governance rights. That will be decided upon during Xpansiv’s shareholder’s meeting next month.

The post Xpansiv Receives $400 Million Funding from Blackstone appeared first on Carbon Credits.

Stripe Pays $700,000 for Carbon Capture Technology AspiraDAC

A solar-powered and tent-sized direct air capture (DAC) technology secured a $700,000 contract to capture and store carbon.

The Australian firm AspiraDAC is deploying the DAC machine that sucks in carbon dioxide directly from the air. The carbon capture machine is built around a sponge-like substance and so the name.

AspiraDAC was able to close the deal with its first customer, Stripe, aiming to install it this year. Stripe bought the technology via Frontier. It’s a financial partnership between the owners of Google and Facebook, Alphabet and Meta, as well as Shopify, McKinsey and other big firms.

In April, Frontier committed to spend US$925 million on carbon removal projects over the next 9 years. In its first major purchase where Stripe is part of, AspiraDAC is one of the 6 firms to win the funding.

100% Solar-Powered DAC Technology

Southern Green Gas developed the world’s first solar-powered DAC technology. AspiraDAC has an exclusive license to the machine that was completed in partnership with the University of Sydney.

The Sydney team of scientists and researchers is one of the 15 winners of the Musk-funded $100M XPRIZE competition. It aims to scale up carbon removal projects.

The team’s DAC technology uses a sponge-like substance that traps CO2 when air passes through it. Fans draw in the air into the carbon sponge canisters while heat extracts the pure CO2.

The best part is that this DAC technology works using 100% solar power. The solar panels covering the machines like an A-frame tent shown below supply all the power.

AspiraDAC’s goal for this compact and modular design is to lower the cost to below $20 per ton of CO2 captured and stored.

While the amount of CO2 reduced under the deal with Stripe is minor, the firm believes it’s a huge step forward for the industry. Its Executive Director, Julian Turecek said that:

“What Frontier sees in AspiraDAC is the enormous potential in the range of technology developments we are ready to scale in the carbon removal sector… The DAC solar-powered modules in this project are at the heart of the agreement with Frontier, being a global-first use of this technology.”

How can DAC tech help fight global warming

Using carbon capture technologies alone won’t resolve the climate crisis. But big commitments and support from carbon removal initiatives like Frontier can help ramp up development in the sector.

Other large tech companies like Microsoft and Shopify are also pouring their money in carbon removal projects.

Right now, AspiraDAC plans to deploy about 180 of its solar power DAC technology at US$1,000/ton of captured CO2. Together, they will capture and store about 500 tons of CO2 by 2027.

Given its design, the facilities of AspiraDAC’s carbon sponge are relatively small compared with other DAC systems. This means it can capture similar CO2 emissions with less than 90% of the area needed for other DAC programs to work.

Plus, solar power runs the DAC technology which makes it even more climate-friendly. Australia has a huge solar energy potential, making it a perfect location for DAC projects.

If developed on a global scale, the project can bring the carbon removal capacity to a megaton level within the next decade.

So if used along with carbon emissions reductions, DAC can help achieve climate goals. In fact the amount of DAC capacity is rising fast to help the world reach net zero emissions by 2050.

But to do that, DAC technologies need to capture ~85 million tons of CO2 in 2030 and 980 million in 2050.

Though AspiraDAC didn’t reveal yet the site or storage of its carbon sponge DAC project, the guess is that it will be in Moomba, South Australia.

The project is under testing phase and will begin construction later this year.

The post Stripe Pays $700,000 for Carbon Capture Technology AspiraDAC appeared first on Carbon Credits.

Suncor’s Ambitious Net Zero Plan

Suncor, North America’s largest oil company, vows to cut annual emissions by 10 megatons by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

The Canadian-based oil sands company recently revealed its 2022 Climate Report, detailing its climate strategy.

Despite their emission reduction plans, they increased their Scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2021 over 2020.

As for its Scope 3 emissions, Suncor reported it to be 127 Mt CO2e.

Suncor’s Scope 3 emissions only include upstream production only. There is also downstream production, which includes everything down to the gas pump.

The whole process from exploration to the pump only equates to 20-30% of the overall carbon emissions, with up to 80% of the GHG emissions coming from the pump to the tailpipe.

Suncor has also forecasted to increase its oil production up to 800 thousand barrels/day through 2025. The graph below shows that the firm plans to grow oil production by 15% more than its 2020 levels.

Source: Rystad Energy UCube (September 2021); Oil Change International calculations based on IEA NZE and IPCC P1 scenarios

Suncor’s Carbon Emissions

Suncor’s major emission comes from its core business operation – the oil sands (80%). This includes five key processes, each of which contributes certain amounts to its entire carbon emission.

Suncor also has a higher emissions intensity versus the overall oil & gas sector, as a bulk of Suncor’s business is involved in the energy-intensive Canadian oil sands.


With Suncor planning on increasing production at the same time as they reduce overall emissions, they need to find a solution to quickly lower their carbon emissions.

To reach its ambitious net zero 2050 target, Suncor plans to reduce emissions through two major strategies:

Optimize base business operations
Expand low emissions businesses

Reducing Emissions in Base Business

In a snapshot, here’s how Suncor aims to reduce emissions by 2030.

Investing in CCUS

A big part of this strategy is to invest in Carbon Capture Use and Storage (CCUS) projects. It involves capturing and sequestering CO2 from point sources or directly sucking it from the air.

Most energy forecasts consider CCUS technology as key to achieving the Paris Agreement goals. In fact, it’s also a critical component of Suncor’s net zero efforts.

The oil firm is a major player in the energy sector’s Pathway Alliance (Canada’s oil sands producers group) proposed carbon sequestration hub. It will include a carbon transportation line that connects over 20 oil sands facilities in northern Alberta to a carbon sequestration hub.

The image below illustrates the route.

Suncor is also investing in Svante which develops a post-combustion CO2 capture tech for industrial emissions. The CCUS technology captures CO2 from gas products and processes it for industrial use or permanent storage.

Fuel switching

The oil sands producer also explores fuel switching. It substitutes high-emitting fuels from coal-fired power plants with hydrogen or natural gas with lower emissions. A major example of this is Suncor’s Base Plant Cogeneration project that will start by late 2024.

Cogeneration refers to the process of producing both steam and electricity via a natural gas-fuelled process. In its project above, Suncor will replace petroleum coke with natural gas. It will also export low carbon electricity to the provincial grid to power Alberta homes and businesses.

Suncor claims that this initiative is vital to its net zero emissions target. It will reduce about 1 Mt CO2e of its Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Plus, it will also result in 4 Mt emissions reduction each year due to exporting low carbon power from natural gas.

Energy efficiency

This strategy involves a couple of initiatives to improve Suncor’s production efficiency. These include plenty of measures such as:

replacing aging assets with modern designs;
digital enhancements such as advanced process controls
new chemistry aids;
additive manufacturing for optimizing processes; and
steam, boiler feedwater, and heat integration to enhance steam generation efficiency

A crucial part of this effort is the steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) enhancement processes. This involves the use of solvents and lower pressure for bitumen recovery. Bitumen is a semi-solid form of petroleum.

SAGD technology has the potential to lower GHG emissions by 30%. If further enhanced, SAGD emissions reduction can be 70%.

If this initiative turns successful, it can produce electricity with zero carbon emissions while also improving Suncor’s bitumen recovery process.

Suncor aims to launch a pilot SAGD project to assess its low carbon potential by early 2023.

Expanding Low-emissions Businesses

Under this strategy is the low carbon power benefit of Suncor’s cogeneration project explained earlier. The lower carbon electricity that the project will produce can cut emissions by total of 5 Mt CO2e per year compared to coal-fired power.

Part of this effort is the use of renewable energy to generate power.

Since 2002, Suncor has developed 8 wind power projects in 3 provinces. Today, the energy firm is a partner in 4 wind power facilities in Alberta and Ontario with 111 MW total capacity.

Suncor is also developing its Forty Mile power project in southeastern Alberta. It represents 200 MW of wind capacity.

Another key part of Suncor’s net zero emissions pathway has been investing in renewable fuels since the early 2000s. It invests in biofuel technologies that make ethanol and methanol out of waste streams. These include industrial, forestry, and agricultural wastes.

Suncor invests in companies that produce renewable fuels like LanzaTech and LanzaJet. LanzaTech uses bacteria to recycle CO2 waste into fuels and chemicals. LanzaTech focuses on producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) using ethanol from recycled CO2 waste.

These renewable fuels give the oil major more ways to cut its carbon emissions.

Lastly, Suncor is producing grey hydrogen via its steam methane reforming process of natural gas. Using this hydrogen in its refineries helps in Suncor’s net zero emissions.

The firm also plans to use hydrogen to help decarbonize the transportation industry. It takes part in the Alberta Zero Emissions Truck Electrification Collaboration project, a multi-party effort to design, manufacture, and test hydrogen-powered trucks.

Working with others to reach net zero emissions

Apart from cutting emissions from its direct and indirect sources, Suncor seeks to work with others to cut its carbon footprint. The company will do this by:

working with governments to provide affordable, low-carbon energy options for consumers
growing its renewable fuels business to support increasing wholesale and retail demand
expanding its hydrogen capacity to offer transportation solutions as demand increases
expanding its coast-to-coast charging stations.

The oil giant has been pumping its money on innovations and technologies that can slash the sector’s emissions. It works or partners with XPRIZE, Avatar Innovations, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), Evok Innovations, Energy Futures Lab, Clean Resource Innovation Network, and more.

Regulatory Emissions Credits

For the first time, Suncor disclosed the volume of its emission credits (also called carbon credits) to meet its compliance obligations.

In 2021, the company retired about 0.6 Mt of emission credits. This reduces its equity emissions from 28.5 Mt CO2e to 27.9 Mt CO2e.

The carbon credits were from Suncor’s operations that performed better than regulatory benchmarks. They’re from its wind and cogeneration efforts that yield low carbon power and fuel. Some credits were also bought from carbon exchanges.

The post Suncor’s Ambitious Net Zero Plan appeared first on Carbon Credits.

Carbon Market Governance and Initiatives (The What, How, and Why)

Carbon credits market is a dynamic, complex system and so the pressure is high when it comes to its governance. But governing carbon markets can be tricky.

Upstream – credit buyers which are usually large firms are using the market to offset their own emissions.

Downstream – governments are imposing fees or rents from the sale of carbon credits.

Midstream – brokers and financiers facilitate the exchange between buyers and sellers with market securities.

And to top it all off, these dynamics play out in different layers from regions, nations, and international bodies.

Hence, governance frameworks and initiatives emerge to bring integrity and clarity in carbon market.

This article will identify what are the various governance bodies and initiatives that provide carbon credit quality guidelines and how they do it. It also explains why they encourage companies to pay more attention to carbon removal credits.

But before that, let’s bring more light to the context by explaining the rules of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement – where all governance came from.

The Article 6 Rules

After nations met in 2015 at Paris, they agreed on the guidelines for carbon market at COP26. This is what they call the Article 6 rules.

The rules allow countries to voluntarily cooperate with each other to hit their emission reduction goals. This means that they’ll be able to transfer carbon credits earned for reducing their own emissions to help others meet their targets.

In other words, entities from one country can buy the carbon credits generated by another country.

Under these rules, governments can decide the type of projects they can develop in their countries. They can also have control over whether to allow the emissions reductions from those projects.

As such, it will likely lead to further differences in approaches, credit types, and prices.

But the Article 6 rules also set strict guidelines to prevent double counting of carbon credits. This accounting mechanism is also known as “corresponding adjustment”.

While a country can sell the credits to another, only one of them can account for the emissions reduction toward its NDC, or the nationally determined contributions. This is critical so that global reductions do not count twice and so are not overestimated.

Otherwise, emissions reductions will not reflect the actual amounts of carbon avoided or reduced.

Within Article 6 are also non-market approaches to promote climate mitigation. Entities can work together in the areas of finance, technology, and capacity building.

With these rules, a couple of governance and market initiatives came about to guide carbon credit quality assessments. Let’s explain major examples of them.

Key Governance Bodies for Carbon Credits Quality

There remain debates about how to ensure the quality and integrity of carbon credits. The biggest challenge is that the climate benefits from carbon credits can only be measured against a baseline.

Ensuring integrity is very crucial but is also too hard to do at the same time. Robust and correct quantification of emission reductions is a must.

And thus, a range of carbon credits market governance emerge to tackle this concern and guide the market to trade high-integrity credits.

The Role of TSVCM

The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon (TSVCM) is a private sector-led initiative launched in September 2020. It seeks to scale an effective and efficient voluntary carbon market to help meet the Paris Agreement goals.

The TSVCM was initiated by Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance. The Institute of International Finance (IIF) sponsored it while McKinsey & Company provides knowledge and advisory support for it.

The TSVCM’s over 250 member institutions represent buyers and sellers of carbon credits. They also represent many other market players including:

standard setters,
financial sector,
market infrastructure providers,
civil society,
international organizations, and

Also, this governance body brings together some of the world’s most experienced and knowledgeable experts in various sectors. These range from forestry management to emissions reduction technologies.

The first priority of the TSVCM is to complete the creation of the Core Carbon Principles (CCPs). The CCPS act as a set of major standards to lay down a global guide for carbon credit quality.

Projects that comply with CCP have to show clear and measurable impacts in reducing carbon emissions. They may also prove full environmental and social integrity.

Here are the CCPS in detail:

In January 2021, the TSVCM published its blueprint on creating a large-scale, transparent carbon credit trading market. With this report, the Taskforce suggests that all project types need financing now to meet the carbon budget to limit warming to 1.5°C.

To meaningfully support a 1.5°C pathway, VCMs need to grow by >15x by 2030 according to the TSVCM survey.

The Taskforce works to take count of existing voluntary carbon offsets. It then identifies key challenges like double counting to scaling them up while ensuring credibility. It addresses many pain-points by outlining 6 areas for action.

The Sylvera Way

Allister Furey and Sam Gill are the founders of London-based Sylvera. They both believe that VCMs won’t scale to their true potential without proper data infrastructure. And so, they form Sylvera to tackle this concern head-on.

Sylvera is a carbon intelligence platform that helps entities assess and invest in high quality carbon credits. It leverages proprietary data and machine learning technology to produce valuable insights on carbon projects.

What Moody’s ratings are to bond credits, Sylvera’s ratings are to carbon credits.

A Sylvera carbon credit rating assesses the likelihood that the credits issued by a carbon project have reduced/removed a metric ton of carbon or its equivalent.

This Sylvera rating is reflected on a scale from most likely to have delivered on its claims (AAA) to least likely (D). This rating is a combination of 3 core scoring pillars – carbon, additionality and permanence.

After calculating a project’s carbon score, Sylvera compares it to the achieved emissions reductions reported by that project. This ratio is expressed as a percentage in its carbon score. Then the team tracks the project using the Earth’s visual and scientific data.

The project’s additionality is also checked. It’s additional if the project would not happen without the fund from carbon credits.

While for permanence, it refers to the degree of confidence that the carbon stored by the project will remain for a long time.

The entire carbon credit rating consists of two stages:

The development of a robust project-type-specific rating framework
The application of this framework to an individual project to create a Sylvera carbon credit rating

The Sylvera process takes between 60-120 hours for each carbon credit rating but it depends on the complexity of the project. In general, this involves the following steps:

With such initiative, Sylvera aims to get clarity on carbon credits quality and value. Its platform works for carbon credit traders, brokers, and corporate emitters.

The BeZero Carbon Framework

Like most carbon credits market measures, BeZero Carbon also works to scale the VCM. Founded in 2020, it’s a global ratings initiative the same with Sylvera. Its ratings help all market players to price and manage the risks.

BeZero’s subscription based platform supports credit buyers, investors, project developers, brokers, carbon trading houses and exchanges.

It does so by providing access to the world’s biggest coverage of carbon credit ratings and the corresponding data and research. Users can then search, understand, and compare hundreds of carbon credits and over 240 projects around the world.

Projects must meet the following criteria to be eligible for a BeZero Carbon Rating (BCR):

The project must have applied an additionality test or provide sufficient information on how it is deemed additional.
The project must be audited by a recognized third party auditor in order to ensure the robustness of the data and information published.
Sufficient information on the design and ongoing monitoring of the project must be available in the public domain at all times.

The BCR uses alphabetic scale across three categories: AAA, AA, A.

The BCR follows a robust analytical framework. In particular, it involves a detailed assessment of six risk factors that affect the quality of carbon credits issued by the project.

BeZero’s focus is to help deliver net zero emissions. The firm does that in two ways:

Through a data analytics platform providing research ratings and market views on the VCM.
Help businesses transition to net zero through monitoring, reduction and implementation strategies.

Major Initiatives for Setting and Meeting Climate Goals

Entities are using carbon credits to offset their carbon emissions either voluntarily or as required by the law (regulatory). Doing so calls for certain standards and carbon credits market governance or initiatives to follow. They’re important to ensure proper and correct offsetting.

Using the credits for compliance purposes is even more critical. Companies need to accurately account for the offsets the carbon credits represent. 

But this should not be too much of a burden as there are major initiatives that help entities set their climate targets and how to reach them. Let’s discuss three popular examples one-by-one starting with SBTi.

SBTi: The Most Scientific Way

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) drives ambitious climate action in the private sector by enabling firms to set science-based emissions reduction targets. It’s a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

More than 3,200 businesses around the world are already working with the SBTi. 1503 of them have science-based targets while 1194 committed to net zero goals.

What are “science-based targets”?

Science-based targets provide a well defined pathway for companies to reduce their carbon emissions.

Targets are ‘science-based’ if they are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. They are:

limiting global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and
making efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Setting a science-based target

Establishing targets with SBTi involves a 5-step process identified below.

The targets first go through an initial screening to ensure that basic criteria are met. After that, the SBTi will assess the submitted targets and communicate its decision within 30 days.

In case targets don’t get the approval, firms should review the feedback and resubmit their targets.

SBTi also established the Net Zero Standard. It’s the world’s first framework for corporate net zero target setting in line with climate science. It also includes guidance, criteria, and recommendations firms need to set their science-based net zero targets.

SBTI’s Net Zero Standard defines corporate net-zero as:

Reducing scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions to zero or to a residual level that is consistent with reaching net zero emissions in line with 1.5°C-aligned pathways
Neutralizing any residual emissions at the net zero target year and any GHG emissions released into the atmosphere.

This framework is critical for entities wanting to hit net zero emissions. They have to take note of the following key elements of the standard.

Climate Action 100+

Climate Action 100+ is an investor-led initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate emitters take action on climate change. It was launched in December 2017 at the One Planet Summit.

In a snapshot, the initiative has:

700 investors: engaging the world’s largest GHG emitting companies
$68 trillion in assets: managed by investors participating in the initiative
166 companies: being engaged through the initiative across the planet
80%+ global industrial emissions: estimated to cover by focus companies

Investors participating in Climate Action 100+ know that decarbonization is complex. It also needs unique strategies across different sectors. But they also agree that there should be a broad common agenda across all businesses and industries.

And so, this initiative calls firms to commit to these 3 asks:

Implement a strong governance framework on climate change;
Take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain and;
Provide enhanced corporate disclosure.

Investors are responsible for engaging with specific focus companies. There’s a set of principles and processes to identify who will lead the engagement with firms on the initiative’s focus list.

The principles include engagement history, equity stake, investor capacity, and location.

Climate Action 100+ tracks the progress of focus companies against a number of key indicators. This happens through regular progress reporting and benchmarking.

In particular, the Climate Action 100+ Net Zero Company Benchmark is for assessing the performance of focus companies. It presents a key measure of corporate progress on climate action. More so with their transition to net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Overall, this initiative came about so that investors can ensure that the companies they own cut emissions to help achieve Paris climate goals.

The focus companies are tested on their emissions reductions, climate-risk disclosures, and on how well their boards police those risks.

As the biggest investor initiative on climate change, Climate Action 100+ offers a window into how big financiers can pressure firms to cut emissions and influence the carbon market.

The Race to Zero

To win the race to zero emissions by 2050, the world must achieve near term successes across each sector of the economy. This is where the Race to Zero initiative comes in to make it possible by providing guidance and collaboration.

Race To Zero is a UN-backed campaign to rally support from firms, regions, and investors to transition to a zero carbon economy. It was launched in June 2020 comprising a group of net zero initiatives that represent the following members:

1,049 cities,
67 regions,
5,235 businesses,
441 of the biggest investors, and
1,039 Higher Education Institutions.

Together, they cover about 25% global CO2 emissions.

Through its “2030 Breakthroughs”, Race to Zero outlines specific tipping points for every sector. These breakthroughs clearly state what key actors must do and by when to achieve net zero in time.

To be able to join the Race to Zero initiative, entities must at least meet the criteria called the “Starting Line”. It has the following four major steps to follow:

Businesses can be in the Race to Zero by joining its partner initiatives. The biggest and high ambition option for businesses is the Business Ambition for 1.5C. While SMEs can join the campaign via the SME Climate Hub.

Why Companies Have to Go For Carbon Removal Offsets

Entities have been using carbon offsets to compensate for their unavoidable emissions. These offsets come in different types, depending on how they tackle emissions.

But most initiatives in the carbon credits market recommend carbon removal offsets the most.

That’s because carbon removal deals with emissions that have already been in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies are advancing to remove more carbon from the air.

Reducing future emissions is an important step to limit the impacts of global warming. But removing existing CO2 actually reverses or mitigates them.

Climate scientists also believe that CDR projects that produce carbon removal credits are key in cutting emissions. They’re crucial to achieving the Paris climate goals.

Not only do they remove present emissions but they also address future emissions via offsetting. In fact, over a billion dollars of investments were made for CDR offset projects. This calls for stronger carbon credits market governance.

Here is a complete guide to know all about carbon offsets and the types of projects that produce carbon removal credits.

The post Carbon Market Governance and Initiatives (The What, How, and Why) appeared first on Carbon Credits.

Carbon Footprint Labels for Food

Menus around the world have started to begin showing calories for items, are food carbon footprint labels next?

A food’s carbon footprint is the GHG emissions produced from growing to disposing of the food we eat. This also includes rearing, farming, processing, storing, transporting, and cooking a specific food.

The participants of the COP26 climate conference were some of the first ones to see food items, from salads to beef burgers, labeled with their carbon footprint (represented by the kilogram of carbon emitted per menu item).

Why Put Labels on a Food’s Carbon Footprint?

The food activist Klimato was partly responsible for coming up with this food carbon footprint label idea after they discovered that food generates over ⅓ of the world’s carbon emissions.

Klimato believes that adding carbon footprint on the menu was a way of ensuring that “food’s impact on the climate was not going to fly under the radar.‍‍”

Likewise, scientists are considering if carbon labels on food items may help consumers make more informed decisions. And that involves both the food they eat and the ingredients they buy.

A recent study, showed that people chose the climate-friendly options when carbon labels were shown and also when lower-emission options were the default.

Emissions dropped by a third when climate-friendly options were the default.
Where the carbon footprints were shown as green (low), amber (medium), and red (high) greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 13.5%.

The chief scientific adviser for the UK Food Standards Agency Robin May, for instance, said that:

“People are much more attentive to food now… We know that a very significant portion of the population has shifted their diet or tried to shift their diet in the last 12 to 18 months to become more sustainable… Consumers have a right to honest, transparent labeling of food.”

A 2020 survey for Carbon Trust supports May’s claim. It found that over 66% of consumers in the UK, US, Germany, and other European countries are supportive of carbon labels on food items.

The survey results confirm that there’s a growing demand for food products’ carbon footprint labeling.

But access to reliable data is critical as remarked by the CEO of CarbonCloud. It’s a climate change research firm that measures a food’s environmental impact.

CarbonCloud data shows the carbon footprint of each food item, from farm to aisle. It also includes all emissions from transporting the food from the country of origin to the supermarket.

The carbon emissions label captures all GHG emitted such as CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide.

Meat has the highest carbon emissions, followed by dairy products. The lowest carbon footprint is fruit and vegetables.

Source: University of Michigan

What’s Next for Food Carbon Labeling?

Some companies are hesitant to display the carbon footprints of their products, while others are embracing the change.

Oat milk company, Oatly has carbon labels already on its products. Also, plant-based food group Quorn has put carbon data on some of its products in 2020 and aims to do so for the rest by the end of this year.

Denmark also has pledged to spend $1.3 million to develop food carbon labeling proposals by the end of the year. It will be one of the first nations to do so.

As the climate impact of food becomes clearer, consumers tend to consider how they can shift their diets. The carbon-labeled food menu served during the COP26 prompted some delegates to opt for items with the lowest carbon footprint.

For food companies, this could mean having carbon labels on their items may catch the attention of climate-conscious buyers or diners.

The post Carbon Footprint Labels for Food appeared first on Carbon Credits.

Plastics From Carbon Emissions and Potential Carbon Credits

Is the plastics industry set to become the next big thing in carbon capture?

One of the major issues the world is facing today is the growing piles of plastic waste. The same is true with the carbon emissions that continue to rise and cause global warming.

As firms and governments are looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions, there have been plenty of projects and ideas being tossed around with potential solutions.

The Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) industry has been looking for a cost-effective solution for a while. Some believe that turning carbon dioxide waste into polymers holds lots of promise.

Polymers are substances made from long chains of repeating groups of atoms.

Examples of manufactured polymers include PVC, nylon, and many types of plastics.

Natural polymers are materials such as silk, rubber, and cellulose (the main component in textiles and paper).

Making Plastics from Carbon Dioxide

According to a study by OECD, humans produced about 460 million tons of plastics in 2019. This consumption rate will further rise despite the increasing use of plastic recycling technologies.

CO2 emissions are also increasing, and that spawned the Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) market. Research forecasts this market to exceed $285 billion by 2042.

CCU technologies refer to the productive use of atmospheric CO2 to make value-added products. Common ones include building materials, synthetic fuels, chemicals, and plastics.

Carbon Capture and Utilization is seen as a crucial tool to decarbonize the world’s economy. Innovative companies across the world are developing CCU technologies to improve the efficiency of CO2 conversion processes.

While there are some challenges that carbon companies have to tackle, polymer CCUs might hold the solution for both pollution problems (plastic and carbon) by using CO2 waste to create useful polymers.

How to make polymers from CO2?

Successful deployment of CO2-based polymers has been growing in recent years. Over 250,000 metric tons of CO2 annually are being used as a raw material in polymer manufacturing worldwide.

This sector could soon balloon as more firms struggle to meet their climate targets.

Converting CO2 into polymers is possible in three major pathways:


Biological conversion


Thermocatalysis is the most mature process. Through this method, plastics from carbon emissions can be made directly or indirectly.

Direct CO2 conversion to plastics involves producing biodegradable “Linear-chain Polycarbonates”.

The indirect method uses a chemical like ethanol or methanol to create polymers.

Manufacturers can use the plastics from carbon waste to make different consumer products such as electronics, foams, medical devices, clothes, shoes, and a lot more.

Many projects are currently underway across the globe, being supported by public and private investments.

Though fossil inputs are still necessary, manufacturers can replace some of it with CO2 waste. This saves firms costs while also helping them cut carbon emission.

Biological conversion (microbial synthesis) is also advancing, it is almost at an early-commercialization stage. Genetic engineering has enabled the use of microorganisms to transform CO2 into chemicals, fuels, and proteins.

California-based Newlight is bringing a new biological pathway to making polymers. The firm’s microbes turn captured carbon, air, and methane into degradable polymers.

Scaling Up CO2-based Plastics

Right now, the scale of CO2-based polymers is still in its infancy. But a handful of successful commercial examples are around already.

More recently, the US-based company LanzaTech is using microbes to convert captured carbon into polymer precursors like ethanol.

Fashion and apparel companies are using the finished product to make textiles, shoes, packaging, and more. Famous brands such as Unilever, L’Oréal, Zara, and Lululemon are doing it.

This forms part of their ESG goals to make business operations become sustainable.

So even though it’s still in its infancy, the CCU market growth is coming from the consumers. Businesses and individuals alike are demanding low-carbon products.

Firms can even generate additional revenue streams from carbon credits. By using CO2 waste as raw material for making plastics, companies can potentially claim a corresponding carbon offset as they reduce the amount of carbon entering the atmosphere.

The post Plastics From Carbon Emissions and Potential Carbon Credits appeared first on Carbon Credits.