December 21, 2022
Fact Sheets

Carbon Dioxide Removal and Certification – What is it and why is it needed?

A factsheet by Clean Air Task Force, Bellona, and Carbon Gap

To ensure environmental and consumer protection, stakeholders need to measure, validate, and certify carbon removals. Presently, there is a lack of common rules and standards on accounting, and monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV), and the definition of carbon removals. Creating an effective certification framework can ensure that only high-quality and reliable CDR is credited. This is a first step toward helping the EU and other jurisdictions recognise and reward CDR without hampering decarbonisation, thereby aiding in the scale-up of carbon removals. Read our factsheet to learn more.

Key takeaways

  • To achieve net zero carbon dioxide or GHG emissions, we will need to deploy carbon dioxide removal (CDR) to counterbalance residual emissions, as laid out in the latest Intergovernmental  Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
  • Realistic pathways project the need for 20-660 gigatons net negative CO2 emissions until 2100, meaning gross CDR deployment will likely need to be even higher.
  • Creating an effective certification framework can ensure that only high-quality and reliable CDR is credited.
  • The following criteria should underpin a set of minimum standards in any certification scheme: creating a real climate benefit, measurability, permanence, additionality, avoidance of leakage, avoidance of double counting and the avoidance of unintended impacts.



This is a crucial step in promoting effective and sustainable CDR practices, and we are committed to driving progress in this critical area. Together with Clean Air Task Force and Bellona we have developed clear criteria for carbon removal certification and will work together to advocate for their inclusion in upcoming European policies.“ – Carbon Gap


Note from the authors: We updated the estimate on the scale of CDR required over the 21st century to limit global warming to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot. Previously we included the range of 100-1000 gigatons of CO2 (IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C, 2018). We changed the estimate to 20-660 gigatons of net negative CO2 emissions needed to have at least a 50% chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C (IPCC, Sixth Assessment Report, 2022).