Frequently asked questions
Whether you’re new to Oncra or a part of our network, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of questions to provide you with the information you need.
Natural carbon removal is removing and storing excess COu003csubu003e2u003c/subu003e from the atmosphere or oceans. Natural removal methods use the power of plants (sequestration by photosynthesis) and rocks (enhanced weathering – story of its own) in combination with human ingenuity, like storing the sequestered carbon in buildings made from wood, straw, and more. Read more…
To reverse climate change, two things need to happen: reduce emissions, and remove the excess carbon dioxide. The United Nations scientific climate organisation, the IPCC, was again very vocal about that in their latest global assessment report, AR6, Chapter 12.
Carbon removal credits are sold by Removers, who invest this extra income in actual natural removal. ONCRA considers carbon removal credits to be instruments to finance the necessary transition from a high emission, fossil based economy towards a regenerative society.
Carbon removal credits are a special type of carbon credits: they are issued for projects that actually remove and store carbon. Historically most carbon credits (so not removal credits) were issued for projects that not remove but only reduce carbon emission. Removal credits make sure that CO2 is actually removed. The reason ONCRA focuses on natural carbon removal is that we believe bringing back life is an integral part of reversing global warming. Also, Oxford University explicitly advises the use of removal credits, as they create much more reliability in terms of positive climate impact.
Open Natural Carbon Removal Accounting. Read more about the ONCRA Methodology.
Yes, by default. ONCRA only accepts nature-based carbon removal projects. By performing a ‘doughnut check’ we evaluate if the project operates within the planetary boundaries and social foundations. Our projects all deliver ‘multi-potent’ benefits, which we wouldn’t call ‘additional’, but central. Benefits like more biodiversity, clean water, meaningful jobs, are examples of how ONCRA credits tick many SDGs and results in a holistic approach.
Carbon removal accounting is measuring, modelling and administering of carbon dioxide that is taken out of the atmosphere. ONCRA focuses only on natural removal methods. Read more…
ONCRA is removal focused which enables it to be based on measurements. ONCRA is an additional framework, it enables and allows the use of existing ‘methods’ developed by Gold Standard, Verra, and others. The ONCRA fee structure without upfront costs for the Remover lowers the threshold for carbon market entry. This way, we facilitate the growth of new removal companies and strategies in line with what the climate crisis needs.
We believe in the knowledge of the committed crowd, and in collective learning. We also believe that carbon removal accounting should be an accessible service, in order to facilitate more removal companies and strategies to succeed. Everyone should be able to review the original data, so with ONCRA measurement reports and ownership data is transparently available. Peer reviewed means that independent scientific advisors are invoked for all questions and uncertainties arising in project assessments and protocol development.
We all have the responsibility to avoid that compensation offsetting is used as greenwashing. Airlines, oil companies and others claiming to be ‘neutral’ while only compensating their emissions do not contribute sufficiently to actually reverse climate change. ONCRA believes in supporting removers by the purchase of certificates and reporting on that after everything is done to reduce emissions, and to purchase actual removal certificates, as prescribed by the Oxford Offsetting Principles.
Yes, however buyers have to adhere to the Oxford Offsetting Principles. You must self-declare, when buying under 1000 CRCs through our platform, that you have done everything you can to reduce your emissions. When buying over 1000 CRCs we perform a Know-Your-Costumer process, which means we will assess with you whether you comply with the Oxford Offsetting Principles. As currently the carbon removal market is a buyers’ market, buyers with the least carbon impact get the first right to buy.
Projects should follow ONCRA’s principles and standards. Removers must submit ownership and carbon measurement data. For more information, see Guidelines.
These are a set of four major rules to define proper offsetting. In brief, first buyers have to reduce their emissions as much as possible, carbon credits actually have to remove carbon (so use removal credits) and store it for a long time. Finally your actions must support the development of net zero aligned offsetting practices. Read more.
TRL is for Technology Readiness Level, widely used in innovation. As carbon removal is a nascent industry, quite some innovation still has to be done. ONCRA, having climate impact as its main goal, wants to support this innovation. So we enable early phase projects, still somewhat unsure about the potential and precise carbon removal potential, to be able to issue CRCs, weighed against their TRL.
Lower TRL removal credits are more loosely tied to actual carbon removal, but offer the investor or buyer with a premium in return for their courage: a larger bufferpool and with the risk of underperformance, also a chance of getting more removal then you payed for. Research Credits however can not be used for offsetting (or onsetting), until actual removal has been reported in the Verification (MRV) phase. The most important reason for Research credits is that carbon removal needs Research and Development, as a lot is needed so the world needs to invent new ways to remove.
ONCRA is free for Removers. When ONCRA credits are sold, the seller must pay a 7% fee, with a maximum, to Climate Cleanup Foundation. The Foundation makes sure ONCRA gets compensated, not per credit but per assessment. We aim to let a maximum of the credit value flow to the carbon removal projects. After all, we need the supply side of the removal market to grow as fast as possible in order to reverse climate change.
Buyers pay a 7% transaction fee + VAT over transactions, included in the listed prices. This fee is used by Climate Cleanup Foundation to sustainably run ONCRA, which is payed by assessment (so not by amount of credits sold). Any excess income is used to fund innovation and / or to lower the fee. The fee covers carbon accounting costs, and is as low as possible without losing rigour. ONCRA aims to take away upfront costs, and channel as much funds as possible directly to the carbon removal projects. Depending on the payment method that is used a fee for the payment administrator may be applicable.
Climate Cleanup Foundation receives a fixed fee of 7% for each first transaction of a removal credit. This is used to pay, on a per-assessment basis, for the work the independent ONCRA team does to account, monitor, report and verify removal credits. ONCRA is also supported and subsidised by provincial governments in the Netherlands and by the members of Climate Cleanup Foundation. This way ONCRA is as independent as possible while being able to take away up front carbon accounting costs, enabling removers to join the market as well as expand as quickly as possible, while retaining scientific rigour at all phases of the modelling, verification and certification process.
ONCRA is an independent framework set up by Climate Cleanup Foundation, which as a non-profit public benefit organisation makes sure the goal, reversing climate change, is at all times enshrined. Legally ONCRA operates under Climate Cleanup Foundation. To guarantee independency, removers or buyers have no legal influence in Climate Cleanup Foundation.