Combining Bioenergy with CCS

Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is a carbon reduction technology that offers permanent net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. This has been termed negative CO2 emissions, and offers a significant advantage over other mitigation alternatives, which only decrease the amount of emissions to the atmosphere. The benefits inherent within this technology are currently receiving increased attention from policy makers. To facilitate the development of appropriate policy incentives, this report reviews the treatment of negative carbon dioxide emissions under current and planned international carbon accounting frameworks. It finds that, while current frameworks provide limited guidance, proposed and revised guidelines could provide an environmentally sound reporting framework for BECCS. However, the report also notes that, as they currently stand, new guidelines do not tackle a critical issue that has implications for all biomass energy systems, namely the overall carbon footprint of biomass production and use. It recommends that, to the best extent possible, all carbon impacts of BECCS are fully reflected in carbon reporting and accounting systems under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.