Greenhouse gas removals – BEIS consultation and NFU response

First published: 27 October 2022

Trees being planted in a field

Having a diverse portfolio of GGR (greenhouse gas removal) technologies will be essential to reducing emissions, as well as providing opportunities for diversified income for farmers. Read our response to a BEIS consultation, which looked at how to overcome key barriers to investment in GGRs.

In 2019 the NFU set out its vision for agriculture to achieve a net zero contribution to climate change across the whole of agricultural production by 2040, focussed on three key areas or ‘pillars’:

  • Improving the productive efficiency of farming across all sectors.
  • Increasing on-farm carbon storage in vegetation and soils.
  • Boosting production of land-based renewable energy, including bioenergy for processes coupled to CCUS (carbon capture, usage and storage), to generate credits for GHG emissions avoided and GHG removal.

The third pillar of our ambition is particularly relevant to this consultation, and we envisage multiple pathways for farmers to help deliver GGRs, leading in the longer term to significant opportunities for diversification income from well-functioning carbon markets.

27 October 2022

NFU submits response to GGR consultation

We have submitted our response to the BEIS consultation into the government's intention to introduce contract-based business models for GGR projects.

Our response specifically covers a selection of consultation questions:

Do you agree that the Government should develop a GGR business model to enable a diverse
portfolio of GGR technologies to deploy at scale in the next decade?

We highlighted that a broad portfolio approach is necessary to achieve carbon removal targets, and that market mechanisms need to be trialled as soon as possible to test feasibility and their ability to scale up certain GGR measures before 2030.

To support a portfolio approach to GGR deployment, do you agree that Government policy for
incentivising negative emissions should be technology-neutral as far as possible?

As we described in the Call for Evidence in 2021, the NFU believes that technology neutrality should be
a long-term goal, and not introduced too early in policy development. Support needs to be targeted, recognising that different models may be required for each method.

Do you agree with the government’s immediate priority for MRV (monitoring, reporting and verification), including a review of standards that could underpin business model support for initial GGR projects?

Our response welcomes the proposed approach to reviewing the existing landscape of MRV developments. It will be important that MRV for BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage) builds upon exisiting reporting standards. 

Do you have views on the applicability of the GGR business model to BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage) projects that are not eligible for the Industrial Carbon Capture or Power BECCS business models?

The GGR business model must be as open as possible to all applications of BECCS and the different processes that could yet be developed, for example CO2 capture from anaerobic digestion.

NFU members can download our response in full: NFU consultation response – business models for engineered GGRs

27 September 2022

Consultation closes

This consultation closed on 27 September

5 July 2022

Government opens consultation

BEIS launches a consultation on accelerating investment in engineered carbon removals.

To reach national net zero ambitions, GGR technologies will be vital in terms of counter balancing 'negative emissions' from hard-to-decarbonise sectors.

The government has therefore committed, through its Net Zero Strategy, to supporting the growth of this emerging market and ensuring GGRs are a viable, investable proposition. 

NFU view

The NFU previously responded to the BEIS Call for Evidence on Greenhouse Gas Removals (GGR) in February 2021.

We agreed with the Government’s approach to consider GGRs under two broad categories: nature-based and engineered GGRs, both of which have potential for delivery through agriculture and the land-based sector.

We have a strong interest in the emerging business models that will lead to counter-balancing ‘negative emissions’ from actual carbon removals, since these are critical to our 2040 net zero ambition for the agricultural sector.

A GGR business model will enable a diverse portfolio of GGR technologies to be delivered at scale in the next decade.

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Summary

  • BEIS opens consultation into designing business models for GGRs that will attract investment and enable projects to scale up in the next decade.
  • The NFU sets out its position, that a diverse portfolio of GGR technologies is needed in order to achieve net zero ambitions.
  • We submitted our response to the consultation, detailing that both nature-based and engineered GGRs will be required, and that support should be targeted for different business models.