Carbon Dioxide Removal

The private sector plays an important role here, provided that corporate climate targets envision the use of carbon removal solutions. Companies can use CDR certificates, for example, to neutralise emissions from their products, services or supply chain. If companies follow high quality climate standards (e.g. the Science Based Target Initiative – SBTi), they have even committed to do so. At the same time, the flow of capital into the carbon removal sector contributes to large-scale cost reductions that make large-scale deployment to achieve global climate goals possible in the first place.

The integrity of the CDR projects and embedding them into a corporate climate strategy is imperative for the successful engagement of companies. This is the only way to ensure a sustainable contribution to meeting your own climate targets.

The selection of CDR projects that fit the climate strategy is a complex task in view of the technological diversity and the qualitative differences. We are happy to support you with our expertise.


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Together with our partners, we also provide accounting services for internal and external greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1-3) for selected clients.

Companies, processes and products are climate-neutral if their greenhouse gas emissions have been accounted for using recognized standards and offset through climate protection projects. After avoiding and reducing emissions, offsetting residual emissions is an integral part of a high-quality corporate climate strategy. Residual emissions might remain because CO2-free solutions are not yet available for all energy sources, products, processes or services.


Science Based Targets (SBT) are a scientific approach and criteria for defining stringent climate protection measures and provide a clearly-defined pathway for companies and financial institutions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, helping prevent the worst impacts of climate change and future-proof business growth.

Targets are considered ‘science-based’ if they are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.


As a joint initiative of CDP, UNGC, WRI and WWF, the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) establishes the methodologies and criteria for effective corporate climate action. The SBTi also validates corporate climate targets and since 2015 more than 2,500 companies have joined the initiative to set a science-based climate target.

Compliance emissions markets are organised by states or regions. Certain companies are legally obliged to participate in these markets (for example EU ETS or nEHS).

In voluntary emissions markets, companies can purchase CO2 certificates and use them to achieve their climate targets.


Offsetting refers to the balancing of corporate CO2 emissions through the purchase of CO2 credits on voluntary emissions markets or from project developers. The CO2 credits can come from offset or neutralisation projects.

A compensation project avoids the emission of CO2 compared to a baseline scenario. The project can issue a corresponding number of compensation certificates. The definition of the baseline scenario and the corresponding climate impact of the project are often difficult to determine.

In contrast, projects that remove CO2 or other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere can generate CDR certificates. The use of these CDR certificates to offset corporate greenhouse gas emissions is known as neutralisation.


A carbon credit represents the certified reduction of one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent or the removal of one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) from the atmosphere.

Different organizations (e.g. Puro, Gold Standard, Verra) define different strict quality criteria for carbon credits.Generally, offset and neutralisation projects must:

  • Meet and follow international standards (Certification)
  • Demonstrate credible and verifiable emission reductions or removals of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (Real Projects)
  • Certification and verification of data must be carried out by independent third parties (Independent Verification)
  • The emission reduction or removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere must not have occurred without the project activity (Additionality)
  • Each compensation or CDR certificate may only be cancelled once (no double counting)
  • All project impacts must be transparent and recorded in a public register (Traceability)

Carbon Removal, also Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR), is the process of capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and trapping it in carbon sinks. Some techniques are already being used on a small scale, while others are still in the early stages of development.

Many different natural and technological solutions for taking greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere exist. Those negative emission technologies differ in terms of the final reservoirs of CO2, the durability of storage outside the atmosphere, their cost structure, and their environmental and socio-economic side effects.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) or Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) should not be confused with CDR. Only CDR causes permanent removals from the atmosphere and thus contributes to decreasing CO2 concentrations.

CCS refers to a process in which CO2 produced by the utilisation of fossil resources is captured and trapped underground. CCU uses CO2 to produce short-lived products such as plastics or synthetic fuels. Sooner or later, the CO2 ends up back in the atmosphere.

However, some carbon removal solutions, such as direct air capture or bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, can use similar components and infrastructure as CCS. In particular, for transport and long-term geological storage

In order to meet the global climate goals, the avoidance and reduction of emissions is a priority. However, the technologies needed for this are not yet available in the medium term, so according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), large-scale removal of CO2 from the atmosphere is also necessary. Regardless of whether the global community wants to limit global warming to 1.5 °C or 2 °C, the use of CDR technologies is inevitable.

The magnitude of the necessary removals is expected to range between 4.5 and 15 gigatonnes of CO2 per year from 2030 until the end of the century. This corresponds to about 15 to 50 per cent of today’s annual global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. The order of magnitude depends on the rate of greenhouse gas conservation and reduction in all sectors.

For credible climate targets and to avoid greenwashing accusations, certificates from high-quality CDR or compensation projects are preferable to other offsets. Ambitious climate strategies and standards, such as the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), call for the neutralisation of emissions and thus the use of CDR certificates or projects.

The prices for CDR certificates vary greatly depending on the technology and can range from 30 to more than 500 EUR/tonne. In general, the higher the price, the more long-term and climate-effective the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.

A CDR portfolio consists of certificates from different CDR projects. Through this diversification, a CDR portfolio can reduce price and default risks and thus ensures a low-risk implementation of a corporate climate and carbon removal strategy.

In order to generate CDR certificates, projects must follow certain technicall standards. The compliance of CDR certificate providers with these standards is verified by external service providers and platforms.

carboneer works with high-quality CDR projects and marketplaces. Independent verifiers ensure that CDR certificates are only issued for greenhouse gases actually removed from the atmosphere. Avoiding double counting of CDR certificates is ensured by the terms of use at the marketplaces and the project verifications.