An information note from the UN Article 6.4 Supervisory Board has caused a stir in the carbon removal community, after it described engineered removals as “unproven” and “not suitable for implementation”.
Senior climate policy advisor Eve Tamme from Carbon Principles brought attention to the issue and has urged stakeholders from the industry to submit reactions before a key deadline expires on the 25th of May.
The note is part of the ongoing work of the supervisory board, tasked with creating the policies and standards for the Article 6.4 mechanism which will create a global carbon credit market, overseen by a United Nations entity.
Under the mechanism private companies will be able to issue UN-recognised credits, opening the doors to increased liquidity, reduced risk and improved chances for scaling-up.
Should these unfavorable definitions be adopted in the final document, the development of carbon removal technology and fulfilling its potential to mitigate climate change could be stunted.
Stakeholders can use the latest call for inputs by Thursday, the 25th and provide formal feedback about the wording and thinking in the document. For those who have already submitted their input it is possible to write again and communicate that their opinions are not reflected in the wording seen above.
Carbon removal has begun to enter the voluntary carbon market of late and there are also initiatives by corporate buyers like Frontier and NextGen CDR. But a global, standardized carbon removal market under the banner of the UN likely has the largest potential to create the infrastructure for supporting the industry.
Even though engineered removals have different subsets and forecasting is difficult, projections shared by The Economist say that the direct air capture market alone could reach $500 billion per annum by 2050.