Methodology paves the way for new nature-based approaches to carbon removal.
WASHINGTON, DC – 25 August 2022 | Verra has approved the much-anticipated methodology for quantifying emission reductions from the production of biochar and its use in soils and other emerging applications.
The new methodology in Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program, the world’s leading greenhouse gas (GHG) crediting program, will broaden the available portfolio of nature-based approaches to carbon removal. If deployed on a massive global scale, biochar offers a high potential to combat climate change as a near-term large-scale carbon dioxide removal technology, delivering a mitigation potential of at least 1 billion tonnes of CO2 per year by 2050.
Biochar is a carbon-rich solid material that is created from biomass which is subjected to high heat and limited-oxygen environments. A substantial amount of biochar’s organic carbon will persist in soil and non-soil applications for centuries to millennia.
Biochar offers a range of agricultural benefits when used as a soil amendment, including enhanced nutrient and water retention, aeration, drainage, and microbial activity, which can all help increase crop yields and enhance soil health, especially in degraded agricultural soils. There are also numerous emerging non-soil end uses that show promise as low-emissions industrial products such as in the concrete and asphalt industries and in building materials.
“This new methodology will catalyze biochar producers’ access to carbon finance and help the budding biochar industry continue globally, enabling biochar to serve as a meaningful carbon sink,” said David Antonioli, CEO of Verra.
An external consortium with expertise covering the biochar industry, voluntary carbon markets, and methodology development that includes FORLIANCE, South Pole, Biochar Works, and Delaney Forestry Services collaborated on this new methodology.
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Verra is a nonprofit organization that operates the world’s leading carbon crediting program, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program, as well as other 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.