Ratings agency publishes first rating of carbon credits generated by BECCS project

Overhead tree canopy resembling a target

Global carbon ratings agency BeZero Carbon has developed the industry’s first rating evaluating the quality of a bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project.

Carbon credits generated by one of the first BECCS projects, located in North America, have received a ‘BBB’ BeZero Carbon Rating, representing a moderate likelihood of delivering on its climate claims of removing a tonne of CO₂e from the atmosphere.

The project is the first ethanol production facility ever to generate carbon removal credits to be sold in the VCM. BeZero Carbon’s assessment is currently the only available carbon rating in the entire BECCS sector. To date, only 18% of BeZero-rated projects are a ‘BBB’ or higher.

The climate science community’s consensus is that large-scale engineered carbon removal is vital to reaching climate targets. Estimates suggest that by 2030, the annual demand for durable engineered carbon removal could reach between 40 and 200 million tonnes of CO₂e. Read more about BECCS and its place within the carbon removal landscape here.

The BECCS sector is projected to drive removal of up to 5 billion tonnes of CO2e from the atmosphere against 2050 climate targets. As of May 2023, total cumulative global removal by this sector has reached approximately 260,000 tonnes of CO₂e.

Teresa Hartmann, Chief Ratings Officer at BeZero Carbon said: “We’re incredibly proud to be spearheading another industry-first by providing the only rating for the one of the first-ever BECCS projects. This rating is evidence that the nascent engineered carbon removal sector is maturing. Meeting climate targets requires investment into these crucial technologies, and we can expect to see more of these credits generated in coming years. Rating the quality of these credits is how we embed transparency and accountability into this market, and realise our rapidly-advancing climate targets through carbon removal.”