FORLIANCE supports Verra
March 25, 2021
FORLIANCE supports Verra:
Development of a methodology for carbon credits from biochar
FORLIANCE has been selected by Verra, a non-for-profit organisation founded in 2005 by environmental and business leaders, to help develop a comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting methodology for biochar in its Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program, the world's leading voluntary GHG (greenhouse gas) program. The overall process is scheduled for completion by Q4 2021.
The Bonn-based agroforestry and land-use service provider FORLIANCE will, together with its consortium partners BiocharWorks and South Pole, act as the methodology developer: it will be reviewing existing documentation on biochar, drafting the comprehensive methodology for Verra, organizing a public consultation process for further inputs, and go through the assessment of an independent validation and verification body before releasing the methodology for public use.
What is biochar?
Biochar is a stable material, generated by heating biomass to high temperatures in the absence of oxygen. Biomass residues from land-use practices – for instance sawdust or the shells and husks of cocoa, rice and coffee – are commonly used. Using pyrolysis, the biomass carbon component is locked into a stable form, enabling long-term carbon sequestration. This means that, even after 100 years, the greater part of the original carbon continues to act as a carbon sinks.
Essentially, this makes biochar production a “negative emissions technology”: it sequesters carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
Why is it useful?
The final biochar product offers a multitude of further potential uses beyond mere carbon capturing. For example, biochar combined with compost and used as a soil additive regulates soil humidity, improves the nutrient cycle, thus enabling the reduction of fertilizer use. This enhances living soils and healthy crops. Biochar can also be used for alternative and innovative end uses such as building materials, cement and asphalt.
An additional benefit is that, since the production of biochar generates thermal energy, this can be utilized as a replacement for energy generated by fossil fuels. This further adds to the reduction of GHG emissions.
With regards to Verra’s VCS methodology, biochar carbon removal credits could also soon be traded in the voluntary carbon market, thus providing financial benefits. Andrea Vera, biochar expert at FORLIANCE, explains: “Put simply, biochar production ensures that biomass waste is simply not waste anymore: it can provide additional revenues to value chains. By having a VCS carbon methodology for high-quality biochar, we can unlock financial opportunities in the voluntary carbon market – in the form of certified carbon credits – and scale up the biochar sector.”
Verra relying on FORLIANCE’s expertise
Verra has selected a group of organizations including FORLIANCE to develop the specified methodology under the Verified Carbon Standard. FORLIANCE is a leading carbon project developer, creating diversified investment opportunities for nature-based solutions.
The company seeks to create additional revenue streams from carbon finance along the biochar value chain. Moreover, clients have the option to invest in carbon removal technology or neutralize their GHG emission with carbon removal credits.
After all, the goal is to remove and store CO2 permanently – and to turn former “waste” into a useful and sustainable resource.
FORLIANCE strives to create intact forests and ecosystems that positively impact our climate, biodiversity and human well-being. Together with its international clients, global partners, and multidisciplinary team of specialists, FORLIANCE initiates, finances, creates and manages robust nature-based climate projects and integrates them into sustainability strategies with our clients to achieve their Net Zero Carbon targets.
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