Blog Enhanced Rock Weathering Methodology Approved

This week, the world’s leading carbon crediting platform, made an exciting announcement: enhanced rock weathering (ERW) is now available as an accredited carbon dioxide removal process.

ERW is our cutting-edge carbon dioxide removal method (CDR) which permanently removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for 100,000+ years.

In the natural world, rainfall combines with CO₂ to create a dilute carbonic acid. When this comes into contact with rock it triggers a chemical reaction that mineralises the CO₂. The (bi)carbonates formed then either remain in the soil or slowly drain into the groundwater, where they are transported and stored permanently in the ocean.

ERW accelerates this process by spreading crushed basalt rock over large areas of agricultural land. In doing so, we’re increasing the rock’s surface area and therefore its contact with CO₂, reducing the weathering timescale from millions of years to mere decades.

Although the scientific community has long recognised ERW as a scalable and permanent method to sequester carbon dioxide, until now it hasn’t been included in any international carbon credit schemes. Through a working group consisting of scientists, industry experts and environmentalists, has remedied that.

Our CEO and Founder Jim Mann says: 

“As pioneers in enhanced rock weathering, we were excited when started to look at developing a methodology and we’re proud to have been part of their working group from the start. Enhanced rock weathering is one of the most important climate tech solutions available today because it provides a host of co-benefits, is permanent and highly scalable. It is, in fact, likely to be the first gigaton carbon removal solution.” 

The team at UNDO have worked closely with in developing this methodology and with this announcement comes the opportunity to further scale the process and purchase of ERW created carbon credits. This will undoubtedly lead to an increase in global capacity, putting ERW firmly on the map as a trusted carbon removal solution.

But the benefits don’t stop there. The mineral-rich rock also improves soil fertility. Jez Wardman, UNDO’s UK Agronomist explains that 

“by spreading our crushed basalt rock across agricultural land, farmers benefit from a natural conditioner to their soils which will, in turn, support healthy crop growth.”

Ryan Pape, UNDO’s US Agronomist goes on to say: 

“We are really excited about the potential of ERW, not only for the environment but in supporting farmers in developing more sustainable farming practices whilst potentially saving costs on extra inputs such as lime and nutrients.”

Simon Manley, our Head of Carbon and a member of the working group is is looking forward to seeing the potential for enhanced rock weathering and how it comes to fruition: 

“At UNDO, we believe ERW to be one of a few carbon removal technologies that is ready for scale now and has the potential to remove gigatonnes of CO₂ from the atmosphere.”

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