SEB tests CO2 reduction market-place

SEB and a group of 23 companies led by Finnish energy company Fortum have initiated a project, named Puro, to create a market-place for trading in certificates for the removal of carbon dioxide.

"To stop global warming, it is not enough to limit emissions, but measures are also needed to remove carbon dioxide from the air. This is an exciting initiative to create economic drivers to accelerate the development," said Joachim Alpen, co-head of SEB's Large Corporates & Financial Institutions division.

Companies such as Carbofex (clean-tech), Kontio (housing), Orbix (construction materials) and others will act as sellers as they develop technology to remove and bind carbon dioxide. This takes place in three areas: encapsulation of carbon dioxide in concrete without cement, use of wood in construction structures, and by creating biochar (this means that biomass is fixed in a stable coal structure). These companies will be able to issue CORCs (CO2 Removal Certificates). An independent party will verify the process and assure that each certificate corresponds to a specified amount of carbon dioxide removed from the air.

On the buyer side, there are companies, such as Tieto (IT Services), Lassila & Tikanoja and others. They will be able to purchase certificates as a way of lowering their carbon footprint.

However, this is only the first step. In the longer term, the vision is that trading in these certificates for carbon dioxide removal will become a global standard that can live in parallel with today's trading in emission rights.

"This is a test operation, but in the long-term, the world will need a harmonised mechanism for managing carbon capture and storage. Initially, we have acted as advisors, but in the future, we will have the opportunity to further engage in different roles in such a market-place," added Alpen.

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