Which deserves a carbon credit – nature or technology?

June 5, 2023 | Carbon credits |

The United Nations (UN) is drafting a document that will shape the future of the global carbon market and appears to favor nature-based solutions over technological carbon removal. The UN panel questions the viability and sustainability of engineered carbon removal solutions, such as direct air capture, and suggests that they do not contribute to sustainable development or reduce global mitigation costs. This stance has raised concerns among the growing carbon dioxide removal (CDR) industry, which plays a crucial role in combating climate change. The panel's position on carbon removal methods could significantly impact the fate of the CDR industry. The debate centers around whether carbon credits should be awarded to natural solutions like reforestation or to technological solutions like direct air capture. Supporters of the carbon removal industry advocate for a criteria-based approach that recognizes the combination of nature-based and engineered carbon removal approaches. The UN will likely make its final decision on the matter at the COP28 climate talks in November.