Carbon Direct and Eco-Engineers have developed a prototype protocol (“proto-protocol”) on bio-oil sequestration, the first in a series of science-led draft protocols. In collaboration with Charm Industrial, this analysis focuses on the carbon accounting, life-cycle analysis, and monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) foundations for a new carbon removal practice: bio-oil sequestration and geological disposal. It also includes an understanding of the energy requirements in biomass cultivation, harvesting, and conversion as well as a focus on subsurface characterization and operational excellence.
The intent of the proto-protocol is to help inform the future development of science-led standards for MRV in the voluntary carbon market (VCM). Such standards, built on principles for carbon removal and a body of scientific and legal findings, will separate good practice from bad practice and provide confidence to investors.
Today, those principles exist – such as the The Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting – but the standards do not. Rather, individual exchanges, certifiers, and qualifiers have developed protocols for the purpose of guiding project designers and operators through the carbon crediting process. These protocols are sometimes incomplete, lacking a strong scientific foundation – this is particularly true for carbon removal approaches that are new and where the technology is rapidly evolving. Other protocols are contentious, where the scientific, legal, and practical understanding of carbon removal approaches is changing on the ground and in the sky. Improving protocols through engaging with practitioners and scientific experts is an important step to developing standards that can undergird the VCM and lay the foundation for MRV enterprises.
With this first installation of proto-protocols, Carbon Direct hopes to ensure that carbon removal projects deliver on their commitments and does so in ways that are transparent, scientifically robust, and beneficial to the communities where they operate. As we continue to build on this series of proto-protocols, we welcome the participation and engagement of actors in the field, including technical experts, legal and regulatory experts, and civil society. If you would like to share your perspective on this proto-protocol or partner with us on future protocols, write to us at [email protected].