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Scaling Carbon Removal to Achieve Net-Zero: The Imperative of Digital MRV in the EU-CRCF Framework

As the global community intensifies its efforts on scaling carbon removals to reach net-zero goals and limit global warming, the European Carbon Removal Certification Framework (EU-CRCF) is in the works. This framework has the potential to harmonize global standards for high-quality carbon removal practices. For EU policymakers, this presents an unparalleled opportunity to take the lead in accelerating the scaling of carbon removal to climate-relevant levels.

To inform the certification of durable carbon removals within the EU-CRCF, Carbonfuture has published a position paper that underscores the critical role of data-driven, digital Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV). Wondering what MRV is all about? This article describes the role of MRV systems in carbon removal, specifically the crucial attributes that contribute to transparency, the key to scaling carbon removal.

Presently, the market uptake of carbon removals is mostly fueled by private companies on their journey to decarbonizing. Yet, for broader uptake, there’s a pressing need for supportive policies. These will catalyze both public and private investments through certification and integration into compliance schemes.


Digital MRV: A Key Requirement for an Effective and Scalable Certification Framework

At Carbonfuture, we believe in the power of digital MRV (dMRV). A robust dMRV system is the cornerstone of building trust in carbon removal through transparent and verifiable data records along the chain-of-custody. Using digital technology, including automation and digital data management, not only enhances transparency in project tracking and monitoring but also streamlines assessments and adjustments throughout the CDR project lifecycle. By establishing accurate digital records of long-term storage, accountability, and value creation, it supports net-zero claims.

For businesses, a robust dMRV system offers near-real-time insights on net carbon removal, project locations, storage evidence, custodian (or ownership) attestations, and environmental and social impacts, offering a transparent overview of CDR efforts. This transparency empowers them to protect their reputation, minimize financial risks, and confidently navigate the sustainability landscape.

We have identified four key MRV requirements for an effective and scalable carbon removal certification framework:

  1. Transparent carbon removal tracking powered by data: Recognize the importance of tracking durable carbon removals by attaching data evidence of climate impact quantification and accountability throughout the entire chain of custody.
  2. Streamlining of carbon removal tracking enabled by digital technology: Enable digitization and automatization through accreditation of MRV systems to harness the power of hundreds of thousands of emerging carbon removal suppliers needed to reach climate-relevant scale.
  3. Clear roles and responsibilities in the carbon removal value chain: Define the roles, responsibilities, and relationships within dMRV ecosystems to mitigate complexities and conflicts of interest in the market, thereby fostering collaboration.
  4. Learning from and iterating based on the practical use cases: Draw inspiration from operational cases of certification evolution in the voluntary carbon market, where numerous companies have successfully demonstrated the trustworthiness of carbon removal in real-world business environments.

Additionally, it’s vital that these MRV systems are not just transparent but also user-centric. Technical experts, carbon removal auditors, and community stakeholders will be the ones to ultimately drive climate change mitigation to relevant global impact and MRV must be designed to serve their needs optimally (link).

A Call to Action for EU Policymakers


The clock is ticking. Now is the time for EU policymakers to take an active role in shaping the EU-CRCF into a regional Carbon Removal Certification scheme. By raising the standards for high-integrity carbon removals, embracing digitization, and ensuring scalability, European Carbon Removal policy can pave the way for achieving net-zero by 2050. This initiative has the potential to serve as a guide for a global climate economy.

In conclusion, we urge EU policymakers to include robust dMRV in the methodologies in the EU-CRCF. For a deep dive into our proposal, please refer to our position paper.

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