IEA Paper Reviews Reporting and Accounting for Negative Emissions Technologies
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This paper reviews how “negative emissions” technologies are treated by current and planned international greenhouse gas accounting frameworks, and stresses the need for internationally compatible accounting systems that incorporate all lifecycle emissions generated by Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS).

December 2011: The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published a Working Paper titled “Combining Bioenergy with CCS- Reporting and Accounting for Negative Emissions under UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.”

The paper, by Riitta Pipatti, reviews how “negative emissions” technologies, ie. those that remove carbon from the atmosphere, are treated by current and planned international greenhouse gas accounting frameworks, and stresses the need for internationally compatible accounting systems that incorporate all lifecycle emissions generated by Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS).

BECCS potentially offers negative emissions because CO2 sequestered from the atmosphere by growing bioenergy plants that are then harvested for their energy can be captured and stored in geological formations below ground, thereby reducing the overall CO2 in the atmosphere.

The main conclusion of the paper is that, although revised carbon reporting and accounting guidelines are imminent, even these updated tools do not address the critical issue of sustainability of biomass, which “should be prerequisite for supporting and incentivizing BECCS as a carbon reduction technology.” [Publication: Combining Bioenergy with CCS- Reporting and Accounting for Negative Emissions under UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol]

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