Effective Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) is critical to the success of Marine Carbon Dioxide Removal (mCDR), particularly in the context of Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement (OAE). Without a reliable and universally accepted protocol for MRV, we are limited in our ability to fully deploy this powerful and potentially cost-efficient tool in the fight against climate change. However, once we solve this challenge and establish a robust MRV protocol, we can unlock the full potential of mCDR and take a significant step forward in our efforts to mitigate the impacts of carbon emissions on our planet.

Planetary developed the first OAE MRV protocol in the summer of 2022 in order to guide the deployment of an oceans methods test in Cornwall, UK. Shopify worked with experts at Carbon Direct to review it and provide feedback. Version 1.0 of the protocol was accepted by Shopify in August 2022 to deliver their initial carbon removal purchase.

The first versions of this protocol take into account the current maturity of the field by using a holdback factor. The science is not fully settled on OAE and scale needs to be carefully and incrementally increased in order to refine the MRV. At the same time, MRV is required in order to source the funding required to scale. The holdback factor is intended to break this paradox by providing a confidence buffer of removals that can be issued retroactively as confidence levels increase. 

Planetary’s first full MRV protocol (Planetary MRV version 1.0) built on the foundational work and used the location of the first methods test in Cornwall, UK, to focus our thinking on the elements that should be included. Version 1.0 was approved as an initial MRV for the delivery of removals to Planetary customer, Shopify. Shopify engaged with Carbon Direct as a consultant to review and provide feedback. 

After our initial methods test, in September of 2022, Planetary has updated the protocol to version 2.0. This version includes the lessons that we learned in that test and from extended discussions and research following.  

Each version of the protocol can be found in the GitHub repository.

We invite  your participation in refining our MRV concepts or protocols. We’re hosting discussions and debate about the MRV through GitHub Issues and are also happy to take comments (that we will transpose into GitHub issues) at