Glossary term

GHG Removals

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Number of definitions:


Definition 1

GHG Removals means the total amount of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) (measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e)) removed from the atmosphere over [a period of time] [by legal entity] relative to a baseline and stored for a significant period of time being at least [time period in years].

Definition 2

GHG Removals means techniques to remove Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) from the atmosphere relative to a baseline [and store them for a significant period of time.]

Drafting notes and guidance

GHG removals are closely linked to GHG reductions but they are distinct. Unlike GHG reductions, GHG removal involves two key steps:

  1. the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere
  2. their storage for a minimum period of time.

For GHG removals to meaningfully contribute to net zero, the removed carbon must be securely stored for at least several decades.

GHG removals can be achieved through nature-based and technology-based approaches. Examples include:

  • forest management (afforestation and reforestation)
  • restoration and management of peatlands and wetlands
  • soil carbon enhancement
  • bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS)
  • direct air capture
  • mineralisation
  • enhanced weathering.

The UK government ran a consultation in the summer of 2022 that included proposals for mechanisms to incentivise GHG removal technologies. For more information on the consultation results, see the UK Government's Greenhouse gas removals (GGR) business models consultation. An update was published in December 2023, see Greenhouse gas removals (GGR): business model guidance.

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