Why you need to buy into Carbon Removals now to be 1.5° aligned

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Key takeaways:

  • The science is clear. The IPCC report states there are no net-zero scenarios without carbon removal.
  • We must remove 20-40 Gt of carbon before 2050. By 2050, each company must remove at least the amount of carbon equal to or exceeding its current emissions to limit global warming by 1.5°. This is a requirement from the Science Based Targets Initiative, not a recommendation.
  • We will never reach that scale if we linearly approach Net-Zero. We absolutely must reduce, but we cannot wait to remove.
  • Oxford Offsetting Principles has always viewed reduction and removal as parallel activities for corporations. This is a science-based approach to achieving net zero by 2050. In the February 2024 revision, the Oxford Offsetting Principles state that companies should invest in carbon removal today, not defer it to a future date. It’s the clearest guidance we have to date.

The Current Landscape

Despite the ambitious target to remove an average of 1.3 billion tonnes of CO₂ annually until 2050 to meet our climate goals, we only removed 0.15% in 2022. This glaring discrepancy between goals and achievements underscores the inadequacy of current efforts and the urgent need for a paradigm shift in our approach to tackling climate change.

The Misalignment in Strategies

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has traditionally advocated for a sequential approach to carbon management, focusing first on reducing emissions by 90% and then removing the remaining 10% to reach net zero. However, simultaneously, the SBTi requires companies to remove at least 100% of baseline emissions in the years before 2050 (for a 4Gt scenario). Companies are currently not mandated by SBTi to adhere to a particular trajectory for carbon removal. Rather, they are simply given a cumulative removal target. As a result, we are already failing to meet the 2050 removal targets. It is important to note that failure to invest in and scale Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technologies today will inevitably lead to an inability to achieve the 2050 targets.

The Critical Next Decade

Echoing research from the University of Oxford, the coming decade is crucial for novel CDR technologies. Early and aggressive deployment is essential to ensure that the scale of removal needed by 2050 is feasible. This urgency is further amplified by the revised Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting, which now acknowledges reduction and removal as complementary and simultaneous actions. Additionally, the Oxford Principles suggest even more ambitious removal targets than SBTi, in order to accelerate technology development and compensate for companies that may not have sufficient resources to invest in climate action yet.

Oxford offsetting principles graph showing the balance between reductions and removals

The Call to Action

Senken advocates for a dual approach that emphasises the importance of starting carbon removal efforts now to achieve the necessary 2,000x growth in removal capacity over the next 26 years. Big household names are already investing in permanent carbon removal—to make a real climate impact today, help establish the future market, and secure the supply needed to meet long-term net zero targets.

How to Engage with Carbon Removal

Our platform already gives you a plan for organisations ready to participate in this crucial endeavour. It advises on deciding what percentage of emissions to remove, setting a budget for carbon removal, understanding risk and quality criteria, and defining co-benefits that matter to the organisation, among other steps.

What are market leaders in Europe doing?


"There's no net zero without carbon removal, and there's no carbon removal without acting today." Adrian, CEO & Co-Founder of Senken. This powerful message is a wake-up call for all stakeholders in the fight against climate change. As the leading carbon removal marketplace, Senken is at the forefront of this battle, offering a platform for corporate buyers to contribute effectively to the global carbon removal effort. The time for action is now, and the tools and knowledge are at our disposal. The only question that remains is, are we ready to take the bold steps needed to secure our planet's future?

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