For the purposes of this protocol, the following definitions can be used:
  • Carbon accounting is the system for measuring the net flow of carbon from one carbon system (fast or slow) to the other, both inside and outside project boundaries. Carbon accounting encompasses fast-to-slow (removal) quantification, i.e. the measurement of intervention outputs, and emissions accounting.
  • Emissions accounting relates specifically to what greenhouse gasses are emitted while conducting a project or as a result of the project activity - i.e., how the carbon liability from operating a business and conducting interventions is measured. Processes must adhere to globally recognized standards such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
  • Carbon removal is achieved by implementing a deliberate intervention — in this case, conducting activities that replicate and amplify the natural processes by which the ocean captures carbon.
  • Carbon buoys are the mechanisms by which this intervention is packaged and delivered. These carbon buoys represent a calibrated combination of materials designed for the specific purpose of creating an intervention once deployed.
  • Verification is the process by which the impact of an intervention can be demonstrated to have created a net movement of carbon from the fast carbon cycle to the slow carbon cycle, following the relevant criteria and considerations dictated by this protocol. Qualified, independent third parties — global quality and assurance leaders, and particularly those with a proven track record of providing independent verification of carbon projects — are engaged as audit partners for external review of specific carbon accounting processes and results.
Conventional definitions used for carbon removal and carbon accounting are typically presented within an atmospheric – rather than a systems-level – framing. Similarly, emissions accounting standards like the GHG Protocol and most standard emissions factors encompass both fossil and land-use emissions (i.e. both “slow-to-fast” and “fast-to-fast” emissions). While a fast-to-slow framing is necessary for addressing total system imbalance, an effective fast-to-slow carbon removal system must ensure atmospheric warming is effectively considered and accounted for within project boundaries.