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EU takes steps towards first voluntary carbon removal certification

Last November 30 the European Commission adopted a proposal for a first EU-wide voluntary framework to reliably certify high-quality carbon removals. The proposal will boost innovative carbon removal technologies and sustainable carbon farming solutions, and contribute to the EU's climate, environmental and zero-pollution goals.

Carbon removal certificates could be used for public and private funding, labels for sustainable (building) materials and voluntary carbon markets, to raise financing for high-quality carbon removals.

The mais goals of the proposal are the following:

  • Accelerate the deployment of verifiable, high-quality carbon removals

  • Encourage industries, farmers and foresters to adopt effective carbon removal solutions

  • Counter greenwashing, focus on high quality removals and build trust by focusing on trustworthy removals

  • Ensure the EU’s capacity to quantify, monitor and verify carbon removals

  • Stimulate a wide variety of result-based financing options by private or public sources

There are several ways to remove and store carbon. All can be certified under the EU’s framework:

  • Carbon farming, such as restoring forests, soils, and management of wetlands and peatlands

  • Permanent storage, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, or direct air carbon capture and storage

  • Carbon storage in long-lasting products and materials such as wood-based construction (!)

Important to mention that Capture of fossil carbon for Storage (CCS) or Utilisation (CCU) is not covered, as these technologies help to recycle or store new fossil CO2 emissions, preventing that they add to CO2 already in the atmosphere, but do not remove carbon from the atmosphere.

To ensure the quality and comparability of carbon removals, the proposed regulation establishes four "QU.A.L.ITY" criteria:

  • QUantification: Carbon removal activities need to be measured accurately and deliver unambiguous benefits for the climate;

  • Additionality: Carbon removal activities need to go beyond existing practices and what is required by law;

  • Long-term storage: Certificates are linked to the duration of carbon storage so as to ensure permanent storage;

  • sustainabilITY: Carbon removal activities must preserve or contribute to sustainability objectives such as climate change adaptation, circular economy, water and marine resources, and biodiversity.

Click on the image below to download the Factsheet about the Certificate and here to the Press Release by the European Comission .


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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