High-integrity carbon removal standards are supporting real climate action

United Nations Executive Secretaries identified carbon dioxide removals (CDRs) as essential to meet agreed global temperature goals. Similarly, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that CDRs are “a necessary element of mitigation portfolios to achieve net-zero CO₂ and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions both globally and nationally.” IPCC say CDRs will counter-balance “residual emissions from ‘hard-to-transition’ sectors such as industry, transport and agriculture.” 

But, the carbon removals industry isn’t large enough yet to make the climate impact needed by mid-century. To remove gigatons of carbon from the atmosphere, we need a high-integrity carbon removals market in place today. A market with rigorous standards for integrity that allows the world to build capacity.  

Developing high-integrity standards   

Drax has worked with the industry to develop high-integrity standards for carbon removals. This will ensure existing and forthcoming climate solutions have verifiable climate benefits. The aim is to give buyers complete confidence in the removals they’re buying by:

  • Engaging with leading standards-setters and international bodies 
  • Partnering with industry peers and stakeholders  
  • Leveraging the technical expertise and experience within Drax as an industrial leader that’s successfully delivered large-scale infrastructure projects  
  • Working collaboratively to create harmonized standards for high integrity carbon removals  

Our partnership with Stockholm Exergi, supported by EcoEngineers, has developed a world-leading BECCS methodology to ensure the integrity of CDRs. The methodology was created to align with the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market’s (ICVCM) Core Carbon Principles (CCPs). This Framework provides a benchmark for high-quality credits that create verifiable climate impact, based on up-to-date science and best practice.  

With these standards in place, Carbon Removals by Drax are subject to independent verification and provide robust assurance of their quality.  

Find out more about our high integrity standards.

Permanent and verifiable carbon removals  

For centuries, generating power meant taking carbon out of the ground and then – by burning fossil fuels – putting it into the atmosphere.  

At Drax, we’re leading the development of a hybrid carbon removal solution combining nature and technology: bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).  

BECCS reverses the traditional model for power generation. It produces renewable electricity – using sustainable biomass from forestry waste products – while removing carbon produced in the generation process. In addition, BECCS permanently stores the captured CO₂ underground for tens of thousands of years.  

Carbon removals delivered through BECCS are permanent, measurable, and verifiable. Independent third parties can accurately measure every tonne of CO₂ stored. And Drax will deduct any carbon emissions associated with the BECCS value chain – also independently verified – to ensure all Carbon Removals by Drax are net negative removals.  

Independent registries will issue and manage verified CDRs from Drax. Drax will then sell them to organizations looking to achieve their net zero goals by counter-balancing their hard-to-abate emissions. 

The 5 key pillars of high integrity 

Drax is committed to harmonizing its operations with the ICVCM principles and ensuring that its Carbon Removals – achieved through BECCS – meet the five key pillars of integrity shown below:  

How is BECCS additional?  
All BECCS projects are being developed to remove CO₂ from the atmosphere. These projects could not take place without funding from carbon markets. In other words, Drax’s investment in BECCS activity led to carbon removals and those removals are providing additional benefit through decarbonisation.

How is BECCS permanent?  
Drax compresses and transports sequestered CO₂ to sites, where it’s injected into geological formations. As such, Drax BECCS projects store sequestered carbon permanently (10,000+ years).

How is BECCS quantifiable?  
The carbon benefits associated with BECCS operations are accurately measured and monitored, end to end. Drax, its independent auditors and third-party assessors net off supply chain emissions associated with its operational value chain. This ensures that Carbon Removals by Drax deliver net negative emissions. 

How is BECCS sustainable?  
Drax believes in creating climate, nature, and people positive outcomes using sustainable biomass to generate renewable power and CDRs. The company’s Responsible Sourcing Policy commits to reducing emissions, protecting the natural environment and supporting communities where it operates.  

How is BECCS well-governed? 
Carbon Removals by Drax adheres to the following stringent governance principles: 

  • No double counting 

We’re the sole originator of credits relating to BECCS from our value chain. Once sold, these BECCS credits won’t count towards our own climate targets. 

  • Effective governance 

We’ll only use standards that adhere to high-integrity principles, such as those endorsed by the ICVCM and the principles applied by the EU carbon removal certification framework.  

  • Reliable tracking 

We’ll use a robust carbon credit standard with a proven registry solution. 

  • Transparency 

We support transparent reporting to promote accountability, encouraging ethical behavior, and building trust and credibility 

  • Independent third-party validation and verification  

We’ll ensure robust third-party auditing of our carbon credits 

High integrity carbon credits – such as Carbon Removals by Drax – are critical to helping businesses, and the world, achieve climate targets.