17 Apr 2019 11:26

SEB joins test of marketplace for CO2 reduction

SEB and other Nordic companies led by Finnish energy company Fortum has initiated a pioneer project to create a marketplace for trading in certificates for the removal of carbon dioxide.

SEB acts as an advisor and is the only bank to participate in the initiative.

"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," says Joachim Alpen,co-head of SEB's Large Corporates & Financial Institutions division.

The initiative called Puro is run by Fortum's Innovation Hub, which collaborates with a group of 23 companies that will participate in the test, as vendors or buyers of the certificates.

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. These will be able to purchase certificates as a way for 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 marketplace," says Alpen