Carbon removal and MRV platform Carbonfuture hosted its first carbon removal conference in Basel in April. The primary objective of the event was to accelerate and scale high-quality, trustworthy carbon removal. The event was a carefully curated gathering of top innovators and experts in the carbon removal space, organized by Carbonfuture. A full day of discussions on and off stage with plenty of networking time offered attendees a unique opportunity to collaborate with and learn from thought leaders in the CDR sector, explore key industry themes, and preview exciting new developments in the field.
Overall, the event aimed to make measurable progress toward creating a just and livable future for all through high-quality, trustworthy carbon removal. Hosts of the event were Leila Toplic, Chief Communications & Trust Officer at Carbonfuture, and Hannes Junginger, CEO of Carbonfuture. The talks ranged in focus and started with a keynote address from Dr. Jan Minx, author and head of the MCC’s Applied Sustainability Science working group. His talk addressed the current state of carbon removal, giving attendees an expert insight into the industry as it stands today and the growth needed to achieve required volumes of CDR by 2050.
His talk laid the foundations for the ensuing panel discussion on the future of CDR policy in Europe. This open discussion was moderated by Carbonfuture’s Senior Policy Advisor, Sebastian Manhart, and featured the insights of several expert panelists, including Eli Mitchell-Larson, Co-Founder of climate charity Carbon Gap, and Fabien Ramos, Carbon Removals Policy Officer at the European Commisson.
The conference also gave voice to some of the most exciting startups in the CDR field. Founders and senior employees of six pioneering startups shared their journeys and outlined the exciting technological developments in their fields. They included Maurice Bryson of Silicate, who spoke on the potential of Enhanced Rock Weathering (ERW) as an emerging CDR technology.
Other technologies to watch were represented over the course of two sessions, with special insights into:
- direct air capture from representatives of NeoCarbon and Ucaneo
- electrochemical oceanic carbon capture from Ruben Brands, CEO of SeaO2
- biomass CDR and storage (BiCRS) from the Managing Director of Airfix
- recycled concrete as a carbon storage solution from the Head of CDR at neustark
There was also a session to illuminate the financial state of the CDR market, with a panel discussion focusing on buyers’ perspectives and journeys to purchasing CDR. The conversation featured the professional insights of thought leaders like Tom Spencer, Environmental Management Specialist at Swiss Re, which recently signed a multi-year CDR deal with Carbonfuture.
With its emphasis on transparent and reliable monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) systems for carbon removal credits, Carbonfuture was uniquely well-equipped to lead the conversation on the development of MRV in the CDR industry as it scales. A panel talk on that very topic was moderated by Carbonfuture’s own Standards and Methodology Expert, Dr. Anna Lehner. It invited other industry leaders to share their viewpoints on the importance of rigorous tracking and monitoring as the CDR market continues to grow. Panelist members included Hans-Peter Schmidt, Research Director at the Ithaka Institute, a non-profit carbon strategy organization with a special interest in biochar technologies.
CDR Basel 2023 was a unique occasion for stakeholders of all stripes to share their knowledge and passion for the CDR industry, unified in their goal to tackle the climate crisis with the most cutting-edge climate solutions. As well as an opportunity for reflection and learning, the conference offered participants the chance to network and collaborate with other key players in the industry and gain an insight into the variety of CDR work being done all over the globe.
Carbonfuture CEO Hannes Junginger reflected on the success of the day, and summed it up perfectly. “I am humbled by the collective expertise, energy, and dedication of all who have participated. The challenge of mitigating the climate crisis and protecting our planet for future generations is one that demands urgent action, and I am inspired by the commitment and determination that I have seen here today,” he said.
“Throughout the day, we have seen inspiring examples of how we can achieve this goal through innovation, collaboration, and prioritizing impact. We heard from experts in the industry on the importance of transparency, quality, and trust in creating a robust and scalable CDR industry. We also heard from innovators working on frontier CDR technologies such as biochar carbon removal, enhanced rock weathering, BECCS, and DACS.”
He finished up with a positive message about the future that we can all get behind. “The progress and innovation we have seen today show that we are capable of addressing this challenge and making a difference.“
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