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U.S. DOE Launches Voluntary Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchasing Challenge

19th March 2024

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) has released a Notice of Intent for a new initiative designed to increase voluntary purchases of high-quality carbon dioxide removal (CDR) credits, improve transparency of voluntary CDR credit purchases, and increase recognition of both CDR credit buyers and high-quality CDR credit suppliers. 

The initiative is called the Voluntary Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchasing Challenge and will work in parallel with the DOE’s September 2023 Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchase Pilot Prize competition to cultivate and connect voluntary credit buyers and sellers. The Pilot Prize will award CDR credit sellers with the DOE purchase of up to $3,000,000 USD in CDR credits to up to 10 teams who develop impactful CDR credit concept proposals, purchase agreements, and verified CDR credits. 

Prior to recent legislation passed in California, companies were not required to disclose purchases of voluntary carbon credits. The DOE plans to increase the transparency of voluntary CDR credit purchases by recognizing buyers on a public leaderboard that will disclose the quantity of credits purchased, credit purchase and delivery dates, and measurement, reporting and verification protocols used. Additionally, the DOE will provide supporting materials to help buyers and suppliers find one another and make big, bold, high-quality CDR credit purchases. 

Industry responded quickly with Google announcing a pledge of at least $35,000,000 USD of CDR credit purchases over the next 12 months. 

Written comments on the Notice of Intent are requested by May 15, 2024.

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