Time to Include Blue Carbon from Seaweed in Voluntary Carbon Removal Certification

Sander van den Burg*, Sophie Koch, Justine Raoult, Bobby Tsvetkov, Trond Selnes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The EU has proposed a voluntary framework for certification of carbon removals which remains vague on blue carbon and in particular, carbon removal through use of seaweeds. Seaweed is considered an emerging blue carbon option. Various studies have confirmed the potential of seaweed to contribute to long-term carbon removal, storing it away from the atmosphere for 100 years and more. Certification of seaweed carbon sequestration is promoted, even in other EU communications. This article reviews early experiences with certification of carbon and nutrient removal by aquaculture using the QU.A.L.ITY criteria proposed by the EU. Examples reviewed include the Seaweed Company, Venice Bay, Yokohama Bayside marine, and Chesapeake Bay in the USA. After reviewing these examples, we call on the European Commission to move forward towards certification of blue carbon. If the EU is to lead global climate mitigation efforts, including carbon removal, it should take seaweed blue carbon seriously and include it in its voluntary framework. To enhance the awareness of the relevance and the acceptance of the carbon credits from seaweed, a methodology has to be developed that, building on experiences gained, deals with inherent uncertainties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


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