30 June: The CCS+ Initiative launched today for public consultation its first batch of carbon accounting methodologies, developed under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program. This is an important step on the journey to unlocking carbon finance for projects that reduce or remove carbon emissions, which are currently not financially viable, yet sorely needed to reach international climate goals. The consultation will be run by Verra, the leading standard-setter in the Voluntary Carbon Market.

The initiative brings together 51 stakeholders to develop a comprehensive carbon accounting infrastructure for technologies that capture, utilise and store, including engineered carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies. The variety of approaches capturing, transporting and storing carbon that, together, could make up the industrial infrastructure of a fully-fledged carbon management economy. 

Matthias Krey, Secretary General of the CCS+ Initiative and Managing Director of Perspectives Climate Group said, “After a year and a half of sustained work together with our partners, we are proud to launch the first public consultation of the CCS+ Initiative. We are grateful for the contributions of our members, leading organisations in the CCUS and removals space, who provided the necessary expertise to develop a comprehensive carbon accounting infrastructure, covering all use cases for carbon capture, storage, long-term utilisation and removal technologies. The insights gathered in the consultation are essential in ensuring that our methodologies are fit for purpose and adhere to the highest standards of environmental integrity, and we encourage stakeholders to review and submit their comments before 29 July.”

The integrated carbon accounting infrastructure will provide the quality assurance to ensure that projects lead to real, quantifiable emission reductions or carbon removals and can maximise climate action by accessing untapped capital through voluntary and compliance carbon markets. To this end, the CCS+ Initiative and Verra seek stakeholder input on the following consultation documents, which are part of the Initiative’s first work package: 

Through 2023-2024, the CCS+ Initiative aims to have its methodologies published under the VCS as a public good. This will facilitate their use across voluntary carbon markets and other financing instruments. The methodologies may also serve as a foundation to accelerate the adoption of carbon capture, long-term utilisation, removal and storage activities in compliance markets. The initiative is actively working to facilitate the uptake of the carbon accounting methodologies beyond the VCS.

Toby Janson-Smith, Chief Program Development and Innovation Officer at Verra, said, “We need to urgently implement all available solutions to taking and keeping carbon out of the atmosphere to meet the world’s climate goals. This initiative is a critical step towards a credible, impactful set of high-quality methodologies that can unlock new investment in climate action. Carbon removal methodologies are an important complement to methodologies that avoid emissions, and need to scale significantly in the next 20 years to meet climate targets. Verra looks forward to a thorough, transparent consultative process that can result in the best possible methodologies.”

The CCS+ Initiative is clearly distinguishing between emissions reductions and carbon removal pathways at the methodological level, ensuring the distinct accounting of the mitigation outcomes. Two dedicated capture modules – direct air capture and capture from biogenic sources – enable project developers to generate removals when coupled with a durable storage module, either geological or through product mineralisation. In line with the latest climate science and developments in the policy space, the Initiative is committed to exploring additional ways to enable a strict differentiation between reductions and removals at the methodological level.

Christiaan Gevers Deynoot, Deputy Secretary General of the CCS+ Initiative and Senior Manager for Carbon Removal Platforms at South Pole, noted that,“The widespread use of technical removals in voluntary and compliance markets is still uncharted territory. We are proud to partner with some of the most innovative companies in the technical removals space. Leveraging their project development expertise, we are writing high integrity methodologies to measure the mitigation impact of carbon removal technologies. We recently set up a dedicated CDR workstream to explore further ways of innovating methodology design elements as the market moves towards greater standardisation.” 

Three additional batches of methodologies, part of the Initiative’s first work package, will be released in the following months. This will include modules for projects involving BECCS, geological storage in depleted oil and gas fields, as well as post and pre-combustion capture, including capture from industrial processes and oil and gas production. Other work packages that have been started focus on durable storage through long-term utilisation solutions and sub-surface mineralisation in igneous rock formations. 

The stakeholder input will be collected by Verra, as the standard-setter for the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), until 29 July 2023. 

Review and submit your comments to the consultation here .

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For more information, please contact the CCS+ Secretariat at info@test.ccsplus.org

CCS+ Initiative Guidance and Principles

The assumptions, rationale and references shaping the approach to, and the structure of, the methodologies are transparently described in the Guidance and Principles document. It introduces safeguards to prevent carbon lock-in and greenwashing. It also introduces important terms and concepts, such as durable storage, distinctions between reductions and removals while providing technical guidance on issues such as baseline setting, embodied carbon, additionality, crediting period and others. 

About the CCS+ Initiative 

The CCS+ Initiative aims to scale cutting edge climate technologies by developing a robust carbon accounting infrastructure that promotes environmental integrity. As a global, multi-stakeholder alliance, it boasts a unique representation of technology and solution providers, large CO2 emitters, professional service providers, academia, and civil society. 

For more information visit ccsplus.org or follow us on LinkedIn

About Verra 

Verra is a nonprofit organization that operates the world’s leading carbon crediting program, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program, as well as other standards programs in environmental and social markets. Verra is committed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve livelihoods, and protect natural resources by working with the private and public sectors. We support climate action and sustainable development with standards, tools, and programs that credibly, transparently, and robustly assess environmental and social impacts and enable funding for sustaining and scaling up projects that verifiably deliver these benefits.

About South Pole 

South Pole, a social enterprise recognised by the World Economic Forum’s Schwab Foundation, is today the world’s leading climate solutions provider and carbon project developer. Since its creation in 2006, it has developed around 850 projects in over 50 countries to reduce over 200 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions, and to provide social benefits to less privileged communities who are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Projects range from sustainable agriculture, forest conservation, waste management, to energy efficiency and decentralised renewable energy. 

South Pole also advises thousands of leading companies on their sustainability journeys to achieve net-zero emissions. With its global Climate Solutions platform, South Pole develops and implements comprehensive strategies that turn climate action into long-term business opportunities for companies, governments and organisations around the world. South Pole is committed to becoming a B Corp globally across all of its local entities, building on its high B Corp score and existing B Corp certification in Germany, Australia, and the U.S. 

For more information, visit www.southpole.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and  Instagram.

About Perspectives Climate Group

Perspectives is an independent advisory and research group providing the private sector, governments and non-governmental organisations with practical solutions for domestic and international climate policies, international carbon markets and climate finance instruments. The company operates offices in Zurich (Switzerland), Alicante (Spain), Freiburg and Hamburg (Germany), and consults clients across the globe in more than 60 countries.

The company is internationally recognized for its outstanding contribution to the establishment and advancement of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), including the development of baseline methodologies, management of complex Programmes of Activities (PoAs) and the successful design of Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) protocols. Moreover, Perspectives has been leading the development of pioneering approaches for Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) around the globe and has supported over a dozen countries in developing, updating and implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. Perspectives’ team is currently deeply involved in the conceptual and practical work around the design of the new UN carbon market mechanism, Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, including through funding from various governments.

For more information, visit https://www.perspectives.cc/ or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.