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Oncra methodology

Enabling many thousands of carbon removing entrepreneurs to sell their carbon – the right way.

ONCRA is a framework that facilitates carbon removers while combining the most bespoke and accurate carbon accounting practices for nature-based solutions. The motivation for setting up ONCRA was that all the elements for truly holistic accounting for nature-based solutions seemed to be in place, but no one seemed to be connecting the dots in an open, transparent, innovation minded and removal centred way.

ONCRA is based on established accounting methods for carbon removal, as developed by parties such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), European Commission (EC), Gold Standard, Verra and initiatives like Greenhouse Gas Protocol and Platform Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF). Methods are considered as the broad set of standards that determine how emission reductions and removals should be accounted for. As the field of carbon removal is relatively new, ONCRA supports the development of sector-specific removal accounting protocols that build on the logic and accuracy of existing methods.

All Protocols contain specific accounting rules for removal pathways. They are not what many call ‘Methods’, but may refer to existing accounting methods as indicated in the Guidelines and Accounting Stack. Each project or value-chain description in the protocols should ideally be not longer than two pages A4, and contain at least a description of the removal process, system, credit point, metric and MRV Protocol. This approach enables a rigorous yet fast and simple certification process.

What makes ONCRA unique?

Most market players issue carbon removal certificates based solely on land stored carbon. ONCRA, on the other hand, in cooperation with financials, local goverments and the European Commission, is also developing metrics to account for construction stored carbon, ocean stored carbon and rock stored carbon. These metrics facilitate both due diligence by financials as well as accounting and MRV guidelines for Removers and Buyers. In this way ONCRA is both rigorous and fosters innovation, which is given the climate crisis highly needed in the emerging carbon removal industry. On top of that, ONCRA facilitates innovation by offering certification pathways for lower TRL levels. See the ONCRA Guidelines for details.

“ONCRA is a ‘standard of standards’, a framework facilitating removers and buyers while combining the best and most effective carbon accounting practices.”

Rigorous and scientifically based assessments

ISO standards, established by the International Organization for Standardization in Switzerland, provide the basis for rigorous and scientifically based assessments. These include ISO 14064-1 (on quantification of greenhouse gas emissions and removals), ISO 14064-2 (with guidance at project level) and ISO 14064-3 (on validation and verification). All calculations must follow the principles of a full life cycle analysis, as specified in ISO 14040 and ISO 14044.

For more information on how ONCRA works, read our Guidelines here.