Carbon Removal Market

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Context

BY ADELE PETERS

"On his small family farm in Petaluma, California, Don Gilardi hopes to begin spreading compost over his pastures next year as a way to fight climate change. The technique helps plants pull more carbon from the air and store it in the soil. The farm will also use other “carbon farming” methods, like planting trees on pastures and managed grazing. In doing so, it could sequester an average of 295 metric tons of CO2 a year, more than the emissions of driving a Toyota Camry a million miles. In 20 years, the farm could sequester 32 times as much carbon.

A new “carbon removal marketplace” hopes to make it easier for consumers and businesses to directly support farmers who, like Gilardi, want to shift to climate-friendly practices. It will also later connect consumers to other types of carbon offsets, such as those from tree-planting projects. Called Nori, the new platform, which will launch by the end of the year, will use blockchain to streamline the process of buying and selling offsets." (https://www.fastcompany.com/40571935/this-carbon-removal-marketplace-will-make-buying-offsets-easier)

Description

BY ADELE PETERS:

"Nori’s system creates carbon removal certificates that are initially owned by the supplier–in the case of storing carbon in the soil, a farmer–and then when they are sold to a buyer, the ownership is instantly transferred. Buyers will be able to go on a marketplace and buy blockchain tokens that can be used to pay for carbon removal certificates. The price of the token will be set by the market, so it will vary, but buyers will be able to avoid the time they currently spend with brokers and consultants trying to find projects.


Independent auditors will verify that a project is accomplishing what it claims. But in the future, a system of sensors could also help automatically monitor projects, continually reporting that data on the blockchain as well.

Sensors could bring more transparency to a market that can sometimes be murky. Reputable auditors can solve the problem of knowing that a project is real (in some cases, companies have scammed consumers by selling offsets for projects that never happened). But there’s also the question of how long they will last–if trees that are planted now are cut down in a decade, or a farm later shifts practices and soil carbon is lost, a project may not ultimately be helpful." (https://www.fastcompany.com/40571935/this-carbon-removal-marketplace-will-make-buying-offsets-easier)