May 24, 2023

Introducing Hyphen’s Atmospheric-based dMRV System

Introducing Hyphen’s Atmospheric-based dMRV System

Mitigating the harsh impacts of climate change necessitates significantly reducing, removing, and avoiding further release of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions — particularly carbon dioxide (CO₂), methane (CH₄), and nitrous oxide (N₂O). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that the world needs to reduce GHG emissions by 50% in this decade alone and aggressively continue to reduce, remove and avoid further emissions thereafter to achieve global net-zero by 2050.

While technical solutions for carbon capture and storage are being developed, their large-scale deployment will take decades. To meet the time constraints outlined by the IPCC, nature-based solutions offer more immediate benefits. For example, a mature, healthy forest can remove between 4.5 and 40 metric tons of atmospheric CO₂ per acre annually, making projects to restore and preserve forests financially valuable for investors seeking carbon credits to offset their emissions through carbon markets. However, investing in nature is more than a win-win for climate change — it also supports safeguarding natural habitats, avoiding further biodiversity loss and fostering healthy ecosystem functions. Nature-based emissions offset claims are facing increasing scrutiny, however, and revelations concerning their legitimacy are lowering investor trust in carbon markets, potentially reducing carbon credit demand.

Current approaches for estimating emissions and removals use standard emissions factors for different entities and activities. For spatially extensive, dynamic and diverse GHG sources and sinks, such as forestry and agriculture, these activity-based estimates are often inconsistent with atmospheric GHG measurements. Drawing on over 60 years of scientific research, infrastructure development, operations and data, atmospheric-based monitoring measures GHG fluxes into and out of the atmosphere. Positive fluxes correspond to emissions, negative fluxes to removals. Unlike activity-based methods, atmospheric-based measurements provide net fluxes for specific geographic areas, directly reflecting mitigation outcomes.

Hyphen is working to mainstream atmospheric-based monitoring into digital Measurement, Reporting and Verification (dMRV) processes. More robust verification processes, supported by site-specific atmospheric-based measurements, can help build trust in nature based offsets. Increased integrity of, and confidence in, nature-based carbon credits will encourage increased investment and increase demand. Increased demand for credits in turn should promote higher carbon credit prices.

By improving trust and increasing investment in nature based solutions, atmospheric-based monitoring also contributes to protecting and expanding natural systems and biodiversity. Natural areas provide numerous benefits beyond carbon absorption, such as promoting biodiversity, providing ecosystem services, and supporting livelihoods and human development. Some ecosystems, such as mangroves and tidal ecosystems, absorb more carbon than terrestrial forests while also protecting against coastal erosion, storm surges, and tsunamis.

Hyphen’s infrastructure provides near real-time, tamper-proof, and transparent scientific data on atmospheric GHG concentrations and fluxes compatible with existing dMRV processes. Hyphen’s system facilitates corporate accountability and demonstration of achievement of Science Based Targets, ESG goals, and Corporate Social Responsibility, providing a credible defense against greenwashing allegations.

Moreover, private sector support for atmospheric-based monitoring would contribute to enhancing the current global GHG monitoring infrastructure operated under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Increased data density offers more granularity and scalability, allowing both corporations and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Parties to better report and track their performance in meeting GHG emissions reduction objectives. More widespread adoption of atmospheric-based GHG monitoring would also provide data that could be used to improve activity-based GHG estimation methods.

Hyphen believes that atmospheric-based GHG monitoring in a dMRV context can be a game-changer for the valuation of nature-based carbon offsets. It will improve the integrity of climate removals and avoidance claims, and increase financing of climate action through carbon markets to help achieve net zero. By providing real-time insight into carbon assets, Hyphen ensures that dMRV for carbon markets aligns with reality, allowing the market to accurately gauge actual outcomes.

Hyphen provides technical and stakeholder coordination services and IT infrastructure for implementation of atmospheric-based dMRV. We seek to partner with trend-setting asset owners and investors to mainstream atmospheric-based monitoring into carbon market dMRV processes. This win-win proposition will improve outcomes for private sector applications, national policy implementation, and scientific research, innovation, and development, ultimately contributing to a better understanding of the carbon cycle and the overall earth system. Together, we can not only buy time to address the climate crisis, but also build a sustainable world for generations to come.

About Hyphen

Hyphen is committed to pioneering science-based digital MRV solutions with a strong emphasis on environmental preservation and collaborative stakeholder engagement. We firmly believe that safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystems is imperative for a sustainable future. By harnessing real-time atmospheric greenhouse gas data, our mission is to enhance the integrity of carbon markets.

Hyphen’s methodologies have been honed through over six decades of research conducted under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization. We place atmospheric greenhouse gas monitoring at the forefront of efforts to improve the verification of emissions reductions, removals and sources. In an era characterized by the global shift toward a green economy and the overarching goals of the Paris Agreement, Hyphen stands as a leader, advocating for science-driven MRV solutions that unlock the full potential of voluntary carbon markets and comprehensive sustainability initiatives.

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