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World’s first marketplace for CO2 removal launches in bid to reverse climate change

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Puro – the world’s first marketplace to kick-start CO2 removal from the atmosphere – has been launched as an internal startup at clean energy provider Fortum. 

Puro is an experiment by a group of 23 companies and is aimed at finding a way to verify, compare and trade CO2 removals. The companies joining the experiment across industry boundaries are Fortum, Tieto, Valio, St1, ÅF Pöyry, Compensate Foundation, Carbofex, Yara Suomi Oy, Lassila & Tikanoja, SOK, Orbix, Nordic Offset, Hedman Partners, South Pole, and SEB.

“To stop global warming, it is not enough to limit emissions; measures are also needed to remove carbon dioxide from the air. This is an exciting initiative to create economic drivers to accelerate the development,” says Joachim Alpen, co-head of SEB’s Large Corporates & Financial Institutions division.

In order to mitigate climate change, humanity must both radically reduce emissions and balance the carbon dioxide (CO2) going to and from the atmosphere. Currently, less than 50 per cent of the CO2 emitted annually is absorbed naturally, so it’s vital to accelerate the development of CO2 removal. There are many underutilised and underdeveloped methods that lack revenue for the CO2 removal that they provide.

“We are less than ten years away from reaching the level of accumulated emissions, after which it will be impossible to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 °C,” says Marianne Tikkanen, Innovation Manager at Fortum. “It struck us in Fortum that still in 2019 many of the available CO2 removal methods are excluded from existing carbon pricing schemes, and that inspired us to establish a parallel voluntary mechanism.”

Puro is developing new verification methodologies for CO2 removal. Science-based quantification of different CO2 removal methods is the foundation for credible CO2 removal certificates. Initially, Puro will offer certificates from three long-term CO2 removal methods at an industrial scale: CO2 fixated in carbonated building elements, wooden building elements and in biochar. As quantification and verification methodologies are developed further, new removal methods may be added to the marketplace.

“There are companies that have viable methods to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, and there are climate-progressive businesses who want to do more,” says Arun Aggarwal, SVP, Business Technology at Fortum. “We’re happy in Fortum to bring these companies together with Puro.”

Puro will hold the first auctions where CO2 Removal Certificates (CORC) will be traded in May and June. Puro auctions are open to all companies wanting to provide CO2 removal or to explore CORC as a solution to meet their voluntary climate objectives.

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