Northern Lights, TotalEnergies, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, South Pole, Perspectives and Carbon Finance Labs announce launch of the CCS+ Initiative
June 16, 2021 – Today an alliance of organizations announced the formation of the CCS+ Initiative, a new venture to leverage carbon markets and to scale up global decarbonization and carbon removal efforts. The CCS+ Initiative will focus on advancing carbon accounting for a range of carbon capture, utilization, storage, and removal technologies that are underpinned by robust ‘cradle-to-grave’ life cycle assessments (LCA) and rigorous verification standards to ensure environmental integrity.
The founding partners behind the CCS+ Initiative include Northern Lights, TotalEnergies, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, as well as climate solutions experts South Pole, Perspectives Climate Group, and Carbon Finance Labs. The CCS+ Initiative is an open initiative that welcomes new partners. To date, Mitsubishi Corporation, Fortum Oslo Varme, Carbon Engineering, Climeworks and Carbfix are the first partners to join. To ensure high quality and transparency, an Advisory Group, which already includes the Global CCS Institute and IETA, will be formed to evaluate the work of the Initiative.
Both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and most recently the International Energy Agency have reinforced the importance of safe carbon storage solutions in the global ‘race to zero’. Such solutions will be critical, both as a decarbonization tool and in meeting global climate targets*. Safe geological carbon storage of CO2 combined with carbon removal from the atmosphere via direct air capture (DAC) or photosynthesis (biomass), for example, allows for carbon dioxide removal of excess CO2 that is already in the atmosphere. But these solutions will also be key in decarbonizing hard-to-abate industries where there are very few alternatives to getting to a net zero emissions pathway by 2050 or earlier.
There are a number of important factors necessary to incentivize the scaling up of carbon capture, utilization, and storage and removal technologies. These include government policies that incentivize investments in the technologies, as well as robust methodologies to ensure environmental integrity through proper carbon accounting and independent verification of the climate benefits. The CCS+ Initiative will address the latter by developing a comprehensive modular methodological framework under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the world’s leading GHG crediting program, which is managed by the environmental non-profit organization (NGO) Verra.
Environmental integrity and life-cycle analysis will be at the heart of the CCS+ Initiative. The framework will clearly distinguish between removals and emission reductions in its quantification methodologies. The development of the framework will be directed by a steering committee while collaborative advisory groups and working groups will guide and review the outputs of the Initiative (including draft methodologies), identify technical issues, and recommend solutions. The transparency and strength of the framework will be further reinforced by the VCS’s rigorous methodology approval process, which includes independent reviews by accredited auditors, technical experts, and public consultation.
The methodological framework envisaged by the CCS+ Initiative will cover a wide range of carbon capture technologies for point source emissions, technical carbon removal solutions, different CO2 transport modalities
and various carbon utilization and storage solutions. It will enable the verification of emission reductions and/or removals from CCS and CCU projects, and allow for the certification of projects under the VCS program. The first set of modules will address capture of fossil carbon from point sources and the removal of atmospheric CO2 (via DAC), as well as storage of CO2 based on mineralization technologies and geological storage. The CCS+ Initiative will also explore how the framework can be adapted to the global policy framework, including Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and carbon pricing mechanisms at national or subnational levels.
The CCS+ Initiative welcomes the participation of new prospective partners and advisory group members in its efforts to scale up climate action through innovative technological solutions.