November 10, 2023

Introducing the Core Principles on Quantifying Net Carbon Removal Via Enhanced Rock Weathering

Hara Wang, Jenny Mills, John Sanchez, Dai Ellis

In November, 93 leaders in enhanced rock weathering (ERW)–including scientists, suppliers, buyers, credit issuers, civil society and more–publicly signed on to a set of Core Principles on the quantification of net carbon removal via ERW. The Core Principles represent an ERW community-wide view on rigorous quantification and set a shared foundation at the outset of a community process to develop the first version of a new ERW quantification standard.

The process to develop this standard explicitly brings together perspectives on best available science from across the ERW community, and it is conscientiously set up to avoid conflicts of interest. The decision engine for the community standard consists of five Working Groups made up of scientists and technical experts with no financial stake in issuing, selling and deploying ERW carbon credits. Their recommendations are iteratively updated and refined through successive rounds of feedback from suppliers, buyers, and other market participants. Funding for the community standard development process is entirely philanthropic, and the process is overseen by a Steering Committee similarly with no financial stake in ERW market activities.

The quantification standard process comes at an important inflection point for the ERW market. Just earlier in December, the first-of-its-kind offtake purchase agreement in ERW was announced between Frontier Climate and Lithos Carbon. This is a significant first step, building a strong foundation for responsible procurement and rigorous measurement for ERW. What the community should hope for is a virtuous cycle of deployment-led innovation whereby rigor and consistency in quantification becomes the bedrock for buyer and public confidence–leading to growing deployment and learning-by-doing.

If you are a scientist, researcher, market practitioner, or buyer interested in community ERW quantification standard, please feel free to reach out to [email protected].