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Swiss biochar carbon removal project receives “A” rating

First Climate’s biochar program is the first carbon removal project reviewed by global ratings agency BeZero Carbon / The project scores in the top 6% of all 355 projects rated to date.


Carbon removals with biochar are becoming an increasingly important technology for climate change mitigation in the voluntary carbon market. As a pioneer in the sector, First Climate is proud to report that its Swiss biochar carbon removal project is the first program of its kind to receive an official rating by the global carbon credits rating BeZero Carbon. This rating marks a significant step forward for First Climate’s biochar program and for carbon removals in general. Achieving an A-rating is an impressive accomplishment for such a new technology, and gives clients and committed companies the confidence to invest in an efficient and effective project.


Swiss biochar

BeZero Carbon’s project rating system facilitates the comparability of projects and participants in the voluntary carbon market, making it easier for buyers to make informed investment decisions. Up until now however, technical carbon removal projects had not been included in the rating system.


According to the BeZero Carbon definition, an A-rating indicates that after being assessed for various factors, such as additionality, crediting accuracy, and permanence, the First Climate’s Swiss biochar carbon removal project was determined to have a “high likelihood of removing 1 tonne of CO2e”. With this scoring the project is one of only 14 to be awarded the A-rating among the 350+ projects that have been reviewed by the rating agency, so far.


“We are very pleased with our Swiss biochar carbon removals program’s A rating from BeZero Carbon,” says Nino Berta, Head of Technical Removal Solutions at First Climate. “The rating demonstrates that the market is becoming increasingly aware of biochar’s climate benefits and that the carbon removal technology is increasingly recognized as a powerful tool for climate change mitigation. Scoring an “A” rating surely provides tailwind for the development of this emerging technology with all its potential.”


Driving the Growth of the Carbon Removals Sector


First Climate has been actively pioneering the biochar carbon removal technology since first developing a methodology in 2018 to monitor and measure the technology’s climate impact. Since then, First Climate’s biochar program has grown rapidly, with major companies like the Swiss Post investing in the technology as part of their climate strategy, and the construction of major new biochar production plants like CARBONITY in Canada.


On a broader scale, the first-ever rating for a technical carbon removal project is yet another signal that the carbon removal sector is quickly maturing. Biochar was first recognized as a promising negative emissions technology on an international scale in IPCC’s 2022 report on climate change adaptation and mitigation. Furthermore, Be Zero Carbon’s announcement comes just ahead of next month’s European Parliament discussions on a legislative proposal for an EU-wide Carbon Removal Certification Framework. Biochar was recently included in the framework as a key carbon removal methodology.


You can access the biochar project's rating summary here.

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