Certification of Carbon Removals. Part 2: A review of carbon removal certification mechanisms and methodologies
McDonald, Hugh et al. 2021: Certification of Carbon Removals. Part 2: A review of carbon removal certification mechanisms and methodologies. Vienna: Environment Agency Austria.
The European Commission is developing a certification mechanism to incentivise the removal of carbon from the atmosphere. To support its development, this report reviews 24 existing carbon removal certification mechanisms and methodologies and identifies key lessons for mechanism design.
Certification mechanisms provide a set of rules, procedures and requirements for eligible activities, such as afforestation or direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS). The rules aim to measure and verify that carbon has been removed from the atmosphere and are thus eligible for certification and payment. Examples of existing certification mechanisms include private voluntary carbon market mechanisms, such as Gold Standard and Verra, and regulatory approaches such as the EU Innovation Fund.
By documenting different existing approaches to certifying carbon removals, the report identifies and evaluates a range of options for an EU certification mechanism. We describe each of the 24 reviewed carbon removal mechanisms and methodologies in a multipage fiche. In addition to descriptive information, we evaluate key design decisions, including the mechanism’s approach to governance, monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV), non-permanence, additionality, uncertainty, and sustainability, among others. Through cross-cutting analysis, the report also summarises existing approaches to key design challenges.
Ecologic Institute led the task and the report, as part of a project funded by European Commission DG CLIMA. An accompanying report was published simultaneously, which evaluates the potential of twelve nature- and technology-based carbon removal solutions to deliver carbon removals in Europe.