IEA Discussion Meeting on DAC and Carbon Markets


By Tim Dixon

5 June 2023

This IEA meeting held on the 31st of May had the goal to consider the challenges and opportunities for how carbon markets could accelerate DAC deployment. It was under Chatham House rules, so we cannot report the details of who said what. The meeting was invite-only and IEAGHG’s Tim Dixon attended in person and Jasmin Kemper attended virtually. It was well attended with around fifty experts on the subject in person and around twenty virtually. These experts were from the carbon accounting world, DAC project developers, and active governments. The starting point was the excellent new IEA brief on this subject available at Unlocking the potential of direct air capture: Is scaling up through carbon markets possible? – Analysis – IEA.

The meeting was structured into two parts, one focussing on government actions and one on industry perspectives. Good points were made by many, including on the current issues for engineered CDR in Article 6.4 (whose meeting was running at the same time in Bonn), noting that its first two Information Notes were incomplete but balanced and not biased, whereas the third and fourth versions in 2023 where unbalanced and biased against engineered CDR. The discussions also highlighted the various incentives that currently exist or not (depending on the jurisdiction), the actions by the voluntary carbon markets, and the need for compliance carbon markets to recognise DAC. This latter point would be much assisted if the IPCC Task Force on Inventories (TFI) could produce a technical note on how to include DAC into national GHG inventories (the CO2 transport and geological storage aspects are already covered by the IPCC GHG Inventory Guidelines 2006).Overall, it was great to be in a gathering of such expertise and to have peer-reviewed the IEA brief on this topic. We look forward to the report of the meeting by the IEA.In terms of IEAGHG’s recent work in this area, at the end of 2021, we published our report 2021-05 “Global Assessment of Direct Air Capture Costs”, which aimed at improving the DACCS cost-performance evidence base and providing recommendations for the next steps of DACCS implementation and deployment. We have also just published 2023-01 “Integrating CCS in International Cooperation and Carbon Markets under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement”, which assessed the current status of markets and mechanisms that could evolve under Article 6. The members of our Executive Committee have also approved that we undertake the following studies:
  • Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) for Greenhouse Gas Removals (GGRs): with the aim of reviewing the current MRV status, evaluating the “MRV-ability” of several GGR options, and providing recommendations that are useful for, e.g., the IPCC Task Force on Inventory Guidelines.
  • The Value of DACCS: with the aim to define and assess the value of DACCS, considering key criteria such as removal efficiency, timeliness, and durability but also other social and environmental aspects.
  • Market Models for CCS: with the aim to screen and describe current and planned market models for CCS (incl. BECCS and DACCS).

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