Reykjavik Protocol to address risks in carbon markets

September 20, 2023

A group of nature-deployed environmental credit-generating companies and scientific leaders have drafted a set of principles that govern how suppliers can responsibly bring their solutions to market, known as the Reykjavik Protocol.

The Protocol, which was drafted at a recent summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, provides a framework for nature-deployed environmental credit suppliers.

“Nature-based carbon removal plays acritical role in our climate change mitigation efforts, including the ocean. The Reykjavik Protocol is aimed at reducing the structural uncertainty and risks that the market is currently faced with across the supplier ecosystem through adoption of prudent principles outlined,” says Akash Rastogi, Innovation and Commercialization Strategist at the Ocean Frontier Institute, who is one of 12 authors of the Protocol. “I am excited to see the system-level impact this novel initiative has envisioned.”

Nature-deployed projects represent some of the most scalable, permanent, and cost-effective climate solutions available today, but are also subject to the highest levels of scrutiny. A uniform set of principles should instill more confidence and accelerate the growth of the market.

Initial principles of the protocol

In total, twelve initial principles were agreed upon.

Environmental credit suppliers that sign onto the Reykjavik Protocol commit to implementing its principles for all their environmental credit projects within the next two years, while supporters from academia, research organizations and NGOs commit to advocating for the principles across their work.

All signatories also commit to evolving the Protocol to match the realities of the market as it scales. The founding signatories invite interested parties engaged in the environmental credit space- suppliers and non-suppliers alike - to sign onto the Protocol.

Role of carbon dioxide removal

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has underscored the critical need for carbon removal by 2050 to limit global warming to manageable levels.

Carbon removal technologies and practices involve capturing and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They provide a crucial tool in achieving net-zero emissions and safeguarding the planet's future, offering hope for mitigating the most severe consequences of climate change and preserving a habitable world for future generations.

Nature-deployed approaches utilize and enhance natural processes to remove carbon, protect critical ecosystems, enhance biodiversity, and provide security for our food systems.

List of contributors

The summit included participation from the following suppliers:

  • Lithos - Enhanced Rock Weathering Company - San Francisco, USA
  • Living Carbon - Biotech/Tree Planting Company - San Francisco, USA
  • Mombak - Amazon Reforestation Company - São Paulo, Brasil
  • Planetary - Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement Company - Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Running Tide - Ocean Health Company - Portland, ME, USA & Reykjavik, IS
  • UNDO - Enhanced Rock Weathering Company - London, UK
  • Yardstick - Soil Carbon Measurement Company - Oakland, USA

Additional contributors to the Protocol include representatives from:

  • Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge
  • Ocean Networks Canada
  • Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture

Click here to learn more about the Reykjavik Protocol.