New Report Highlights Hemp’s Opportunity Amid Shortage of Certified Carbon Credits

New Report Highlights Hemp’s Opportunity Amid Shortage of Certified Carbon Credits

Industrial hemp has the potential to help large companies decarbonize their supply chains and combat climate change. However, in order for hemp to reach its full potential as a nature-based solution, rigorous certification programs are necessary.

A new paper from HempConnect, a provider of carbon-accounting services, highlights the opportunity for hemp in the Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) sector. As the demand for certified carbon credits continues to exceed supply, hemp could fill the gap.

Need for Rapid Scaling

The paper points out that the CDR sector needs to scale quickly, and hemp can play a crucial role in this process. The industrial hemp industry has the capacity to absorb significant amounts of CO2 and can potentially supply CDR certificates. However, there have been no reports of credible high-integrity certificates from hemp.

The CDR industry is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, with estimates suggesting it could reach a market value of $100 billion by 2050. This growth is driven by the need to mitigate climate change and the development of more cost-effective CDR technologies.

According to Nando Knodel, HempConnect Co-CEO, CDR certificates sell for a minimum of around $100 per ton of CO2.

CDR vs. Offset

The CDR industry calculates CO2 savings by subtracting any greenhouse gases produced during processing from the amount absorbed by hemp plants. This approach results in net-negative emissions. On the other hand, offsetting is based on avoided or reduced emissions, which may not necessarily be net-negative.

New Report Highlights Hemp’s Opportunity Amid Shortage of Certified Carbon Credits

‘This report sheds light on the opportunities for industrial hemp to participate in the CDR space as a nature-based solution.’

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The paper emphasizes the importance of this distinction:

“The term ‘offsets’ has already faced significant criticism due to low-quality certificates in the voluntary sector. This led to a race-to-the-bottom market mentality.”


Nando Knodel states, “Buyers of offsets contribute to emission reduction but not net-zero. Buyers of CDR, on the other hand, neutralize emissions and support net-negative technologies. If we truly want a net-zero economy, CDR will be critical.”

The paper also highlights hemp’s potential as an “self-offsetting” agricultural commodity and suggests that CDR based on hemp can be implemented in the short term.

The paper concludes, “No industry can afford to exempt itself from the collective effort required to combat climate change.”

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