Market Overview: Carbon Dioxide Removal Technologies

Published 14 December 2023 by Connor Taylor & Ryan Skinner &
Carbon Offsets Carbon Trading Net Zero & Climate Risk Voluntary Carbon Markets Market Overview

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Executive Summary

As the voluntary carbon market (VCM) reels from unprecedented reputational damage, sustainability leaders have identified carbon dioxide removal (CDR) credits as a new investment opportunity for climate mitigation. Consequently, a raft of new technologies that seek to capture carbon directly from the atmosphere have emerged, representing attractive new opportunities for buyers. This report helps senior executives in charge of decarbonization and carbon credit procurement strategies understand the current state of the CDR technology landscape, and seeks to reveal the scalability potential of novel technologies as climate mitigation levers. 

Table of contents

Carbon dioxide removals promise all the benefits of carbon credits without the risks
Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) projects aim for permanent emission reductions
CDR technology can play a pivotal role in reducing global warming
Corporate investment in carbon removals soars, amid volatile voluntary market conditions
CDR buyers face significant challenges to their efforts to drive permanent climate action
The carbon removal technology landscape
Direct air capture (DAC) is a new frontier for emissions action

Until 2030, DAC will be the highest-quality offset, but the smallest by volume
Enhanced rock weathering (ERW) technologies store carbon permanently across land and sea
ERW supports land-intensive industries
ERW requires significant methodological support to scale
Biochar carbon removal (BCR) durably stores carbon and enhances soil quality
BCR uses waste agricultural products to generate carbon offsets
BCR is a proven technology – but is far from industrialized
Nature-based carbon removal (NBCR) solutions are a mature option for credit buyers
Nature-based solutions provide significant opportunities for atmospheric carbon removal
Nature-based solutions are mature and bring significant co-benefits
Systemic challenges facing the CDR market will resolve by 2030

Table of figures

Figure 1. The reduction, removal and avoidance trifecta
Figure 2. CDR capture processes
Figure 3. CDR storage processes
Figure 4. CDR technology can play a pivotal role in reducing global warming
Figure 5. Corporate CDR purchases rise dramatically in 2023
Figure 6. The nature and engineered divide in CDR
Figure 7. CDR credit volume is inversely linked to storage longevity
Figure 8. Prominent DAC providers in 2023
Figure 9. Prominent ERW providers in 2023
Figure 10. Prominent BCR providers in 2023

About the authors

Connor Taylor

Senior Analyst
Connor is a Senior Analyst in the Verdantix Net Zero & Climate Risk practice. His current research agenda focuses on carbon management software, climate change consulting services, and the voluntary carbon markets. Connor joined Verdantix in 2021, with prior experience in EHS technology sales and development. He holds a BA from the University of Cambridge in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic.

Ryan Skinner

Research Director, Net Zero & Climate Risk
Ryan is the Research Director for the Verdantix Net Zero & Climate Risk practice. He guides the research team to develop compelling research at the intersection of net zero strategies, carbon management, climate risk and technology. Prior to joining Verdantix, Ryan was a principal analyst at Forrester Research, where he initiated the research into ESG data and analytics offerings. He also has extensive experience of helping software companies with their messaging, positioning, market and technology strategies. Ryan studied at Duke University, the University of Manchester and the University of Oslo, and speaks Norwegian fluently.

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