2022 will perhaps be remembered as the year in which the carbon removal market started to take shape, but many experts in the field, including those that worked on the review, have been careful to point out that we still don’t have a fully mature “market.”
Regardless, the increasing number of purchases, suppliers and marketplaces is encouraging. Carbon removal marketplaces saw a bumper year, with over 41 registered by CDR.fyi.
In terms of purchases of carbon removal tonnes, there was a 533% growth, though it has to be pointed out that a single deal between Airbus and 1PointFive is responsible for just under two-thirds of the total volume traded, dwarfing the rest of the deals.
This type of deal was one of the topics Carbon Herald discussed with Carbon Engineering’s CEO and VP and head of Business Development in a series of interviews last year. (Carbon Engineering is a delivery partner for 1PointFive’s Direct Air Capture project). According to them the main driving force for CO2 removal will be from compliance markets through which the industries responsible for most carbon emissions will be incentivized to decarbonize. But just like with many large governmental and industrial initiatives, the speed of development is relatively slow.
Another interesting point in the review is the mix of methods used for carbon removal delivery (ie what has already been removed). As of today, biochar is the clear leader here with over 87% of deliveries utilizing this approach.
Given the urgency and scale at which carbon removal needs to grow, some of these numbers can seem insignificant, especially those for purchase volumes and buyers. Robert Hoglund, one of the authors of the review, felt that the number of buyers was “very low,” pointing out the lack of incentives and difficulty of buying.
If you want to read the full review, which covers everything from market trends and purchasing dynamics to price indices and detailed analysis, head over to the CDR.fyi post on Medium.