This Is CDR is an ongoing series of online events to explore the range of carbon dioxide removal solutions that are currently in development. This week, we talk with Antti Vihavainen and Marianne Tikkanen, the co-founders of Puro.earth. Puro.earth describes itself as “the world’s first B2B marketplace, standard and registry focused solely on carbon removals.”
One of the challenges in pushing carbon removal forward is MRV, or measurement, reporting, and verification. In order to create a functioning market for carbon removal, we need standards of what carbon removal means. If just about anyone can sell just about anything and call it a carbon credit–and that’s pretty much where we are right now–it undermines the market for companies that are actually removing carbon. If a carbon-emitting corporation wants to describe itself as “net zero,” why would it spend $500 to have a company like Climeworks actually remove a ton of carbon, when it could pay $15 to a company that says it’ll keep some trees from being cut down? And if companies that do real CDR can’t get paid, they can’t invest, develop, and become more efficient.
This is where Puro.earth steps in. Corporations can buy a ton of carbon removal through Puro.earth’s marketplace and know that a ton of carbon has actually been removed and sequestered. Puro.earth issues a CORC, or CO2 Removal Certificate, to companies that can demonstrate that they have actually removed one ton of carbon. You can’t get a CORC for promising to remove CO2 in the future, or for claiming that you prevented CO2 from being released. To avoid conflicts of interest, Puro.earth creates the standards, but trained third-party inspectors make sure that those standards are being met.
In their talk, Vihavainen and Tikkanen walk through the process of developing Puro.earth. They started with the intention to create a marketplace for carbon removal. A marketplace required a registry to store records of the product (proofs of removed carbon). A registry required an issuing body, and independent auditors to verify the credits before the issuing body can issue them. Verification required methodology and rules for auditors to base their analysis on. Puro.earth created those rules in collaboration with 22 other companies, and have now been operating for three years. You can learn more about the details and the implications for the future of CDR by watching their presentation. And you can catch up with past episodes of This Is CDR on our resources page.