The Seven Rules of Carbon Removal for Emission Credits: UNFCCC (2)

By Mathew Carr (CarrZee)

Nov. 6, 2022

CarrZee: These rules set out below, if properly endorsed and enforced, could boost flows of cash into projects that remove heat-trapping gas from the atmosphere, as early as 2023.

“Removals” are processes to remove greenhouse gases (GHGs) through anthropogenic activities and durably store them in geological, terrestrial, or ocean reservoirs, or in products.

The meeting of the Article 6.4 supervisory body held this time in Sharm El-Sheikh, which approved the rules, ends today.

Article 6.4, or the Sustainable Development Mechanism, are the tentative names of a new global carbon market being created by the UNFCCC process.

This year’s round of climate talks run from Nov. 6-Nov. 18 in the Egyptian city nicknamed the City of Peace.

Sharm credits would not be a bad name for the credits created by Article 6.4, because people and corporations alike would use them when they can’t cut all their emissions themselves.

Removal credits should not be sold at a higher price than emission-reduction credits (created by an activity that prevents emissions from rising into the atmosphere in the first place) because to do so creates the perverse incentive to emit even more.

Sharm, a feminine word, is appropriate because men largely screwed up the world’s climate and women are largely leading the charge to repair it.

Origin: Persian. English, multiple meanings of sharm:

Noun, Feminine

shame, bashfulness, modesty
honour, esteem, reputation
exertion, effort, painstaking, labour, toil, industry
shyness, hesitation
fatigue, weariness

The Rules

Unedited, see doc below, for download (I made the numbered headings bigger):

Activities involving removals under the Article 6.4 mechanism shall meet the requirements
contained in sections 3.1 to 3.7 below, in addition to the requirements contained in the
annex to decision 3/CMA.3 “Rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism
established by Article 6, paragraph 4, of the Paris Agreement”, and any further relevant
decisions of the CMA.


3.1. Monitoring

  1. Activity participants shall monitor removals through quantification and estimation based
    on an appropriate combination of field measurements, remote sensing, measurement
    through instrumentation, and/or modelling.
  2. Calculation of removals shall be stated with the associated uncertainties, and these
    uncertainties shall be within the limits to be specified in the methodologies.
  3. If the uncertainty of calculation of removals exceed the specified limits, the calculated
    values shall be adjusted in a conservative manner.
  4. Calculation of removals may employ conservative default values that allow flexibility in
  5. In order to address the risk of reversals and to ensure full compensation of reversals if
    they occur, monitoring shall also be conducted after the end of the last crediting period of
    activities involving removals in accordance with the methodological provisions to be
    developed by the Supervisory Body.


3.2 Reporting

  1. Activity participants shall prepare monitoring reports after monitoring operations and
    summarize the calculated amount of removals resulting from the monitoring.
  2. Monitoring reports shall contain:
    (a) Description of monitoring operations and methods, and the resulting calculated
    removals along with the associated uncertainties in the calculation;
    (b) Field data, including remotely sensed data, or if such data is too voluminous, a
    summary of such data and an indication of how the complete data set may be
    (c) Records and logs of observed events that could potentially lead to reversal of
    removals as well as a summary of any reversal notifications that were submitted
    during the monitoring period;
    (d) Estimates of a reversal that occurred, if any, during each monitoring period;
    (e) Information on how the reversal that occurred, if any, was addressed following
    requirements to be developed by the Supervisory Body;
    (f) Information on how the environmental and social impacts were assessed and
    addressed by applying robust social and environmental safeguards, following
    provisions to be developed by the Supervisory Body;
    (g) Information on how the activity involving removals is fostering sustainable
    development, following provisions to be developed by the Supervisory Body.
  3. If the purpose of monitoring is to ensure and demonstrate continued existence of
    removals, simplified monitoring and reporting may be allowed, subject to provisions to be
    developed by the Supervisory Body.
  1. The initial monitoring and subsequent monitoring shall be carried out, and monitoring
    reports submitted, within maximum timeframes to be specified by the Supervisory Body.
    Monitoring and reporting may also be required within a specified timeframe of an observed
    event that could potentially lead to a reversal, in accordance with provisions to be
    developed by the Supervisory Body.


3.3. Accounting for removals

  1. Removals to be credited shall be those in excess of the baseline while deducting any
    activity emissions and leakage emissions.
  2. Any carbon pools and GHGs may be optionally excluded from accounting if such exclusion
    results in a more conservative calculation of net removals.
  3. If an activity involving removals also results in emission reductions, relevant guidance shall
    be applied through relevant methodology or combination of methodologies applicable to
    the activity in accordance with the provisions to be developed by the Supervisory Body.


3.4. Crediting period

  1. At renewal of crediting period, activities involving removals shall apply the latest version
    of the applicable methodology.


3.5. Addressing reversals

  1. Activity participants shall minimize the risk of non-permanence of removals over multiple
    NDC implementation periods and, where reversals occur, ensure that these are addressed
    in full by following requirements to be developed by the Supervisory Body.


3.6. Avoidance of leakage

  1. Activity participants shall minimize the risk of leakage and adjust for any remaining leakage
    in the calculation of net removals following relevant provisions to be developed by the
    Supervisory Body.


3.7. Avoidance of other negative environmental and social impacts

  1. Activity participants shall minimize and, where possible, avoid, negative environmental
    and social impacts of an activity involving removals including impacts on biodiversity, land
    and soils, ecosystem health, human health, food security, local livelihoods, and the rights
    of the indigenous peoples, by following requirements to be developed by the Supervisory
    Body while acknowledging that the enforcement of environmental and social protection
    laws is a national prerogative of the host Party.

foggy lake
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on

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