Nature-based CO2 removals: a summary?

This data-file is an overview of nature-based CO2 removal projects that we have been supporting at Thunder Said Energy. Our research ‘scores’ different nature-based projects on a 100-point scale, using criteria to check whether they are real, incremental, measurable, permanent and bio-diverse. The average project supported so far scores 70/100 and sells CO2 offsets at $5-50/ton.

In 2022, we spent $8,000 to support five projects, which have most likely ‘credited’ 480 tons of CO2, for an average cost of $16/ton. Projects span across Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia and Madagascar.

The average nature-based reforestation initiative that we supported in 2022 scored 70/100 on our framework for assessing nature-based CO2 removal projects, and was priced at $17/ton of CO2.

Two of the projects scored over 80/100. Whereas three of the projects were given lower scores, due to question marks around whether they were fully incremental, fully measurable, or fully bio-diverse.

Overall we were least concerned about whether the projects were real, as most of them were issuing CO2 offsets that had been certified by Verra or Gold Standard, independently audited and with detailed documentation.

Overall we were most concerned about whether the projects were permanent, in turn a good reason to consider complementary solutions such as CCS and DAC projects?

Statistical distributions are also explored in this data-file, as there are clearly going to be ‘uncertainties’ in natural remediation projects: both implementing the projects over 40-year timeframes and quantifying the CO2 benefits.

The statistical distributions of nature-based CO2 removals are not normally distributed. We estimate our own probability distributions in the data-file. More on CO2 measurement in our allometry research.

A Monte Carlo approach can be used to quantify nature-based CO2 removals across a portfolio. Overall, we are 75% confident that the projects we supported in 2022 have offset over 400 tons of CO2, and 90% confident they have offset over 300 tons of CO2.

You can download this data-file for an overview of nature-based CO2 removal projects we have supported to-date. Or see our nature-based CO2 removals category for full details on the underlying projects.

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