What is the difference between avoidance and removal carbon credits?

An avoidance carbon credit represents one ton of CO2 not emitted due to the deployment of a project. These projects can issue avoidance carbon credits, also known as carbon offsets, to finance themselves. Here are a few examples:

  • A biomethanization unit produces biomethane with a very low carbon footprint and injects it into the gas network instead of fossil natural gas.
  • An electronic devices reconditioning center enables the introduction of devices with a very low carbon footprint into the market as a substitute for new electronic devices.
  • Low-carbon construction materials made of raw earth can replace cement and steel in many construction projects and prevent significant emissions.

A removal carbon credit represents one ton of CO2 removed from the atmosphere for +100 years. These projects are mostly funded by carbon removal, and their price depends heavily on permanence, which refers to the duration of carbon storage. Here are some examples:

  • Biobased Concrete can be a removal project, if the storage commitment period can be up to 100 years.
  • Storage in soil, thanks to biochar, for instance, is also growing in popularity with a medium permanence.
  • Geological storage with solutions like DAC is relatively new but has potential and the longest permanence.