Planetary Technologies shares a new measurement approach that it hopes will allow purchasers to buy ocean-based carbon removal credits with confidence.

By Stuart Stone

February 28, 2023

View of the Caribbean

Planetary Technologies has today published a measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) protocol for quantifying ocean-based carbon removals — a move it hopes will provide a major boost to the nascent market for marine carbon removals.

Since the summer of 2022 Planetary has been testing its technology in the U.K., Canada and the U.S., claiming it could remove up to 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2028 while restoring marine ecosystems.

The firm’s novel solution adds a mild, alkaline substance to the ocean, which reduces the acidity of the local marine environment while converting dissolved CO2 into a salt that is expected to remain dissolved in the ocean for up to 100,000 years. As the technique reduces carbon levels in the ocean, it then allows for more atmospheric CO2 to be soaked into seawater to take its place.

At the same time as testing the technology the company has been developing a process for measuring, reporting and verifying the resulting carbon removals from the atmosphere so as to enable the sale of carbon offset credits. 

Now, backed by e-commerce giant Shopify, the firm is inviting scientists and stakeholders to review its MRV protocol over the next six weeks.

Planetary will then publish an improved framework and provide full public access to the latest version, while continuing to refine the MRV as additional trials are conducted.

It is hoped this process will ultimately help verify carbon removals in Planetary’s first public carbon removal project, planned for spring, and allow carbon removal purchasers to acquire Planetary credits with confidence.

Mike Kelland, co-founder and CEO at Planetary, claims the company’s ambitious approach has the potential to remove billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air.

“At the same time, we want to continue safely so we will continue at low levels and grow as we increase our confidence in the safety and efficacy of our approach,” he added. “Planetary is leading the industry to address a fundamental concern: how to measure and verify the effectiveness of ocean-based CDR. This is a very complex issue; we call on the world’s best minds to work cooperatively to create a robust ocean MRV framework.”

Stacy Kauk, head of sustainability at Shopify, added that Planetary’s new MRV framework will instill Shopify and other credit buyers with the confidence that ocean-based carbon removal projects are removing emissions as advertised.

“Ocean alkalinity enhancement (OAE) has the potential to remove and sequester gigatonnes of CO2 annually at a low cost,” she said.

“Planetary is driving the OAE pathway forward, and their decision to open source their MRV framework and request expert feedback further validates the respect and trust we have in their organization.”

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Stuart Stone



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