EU plans certification scheme for carbon dioxide removals

(EurActiv, 16 Sep 2021) The European Commission will publish a policy paper by the end of the year on “the sustainable management of the carbon cycle” – the first step towards an EU-wide certification scheme for negative emissions coming from agriculture, forestry and other sources, that will be tabled in 2022.

With the adoption of its landmark Climate Law earlier this year, the European Union has decided to aggressively cut greenhouse gas emissions, aiming for a 55% reduction by the end of this decade before eventually reaching net-zero by 2050.

But the EU executive is now preparing a second leg to the bloc’s climate policy, with plans to also remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“We need to think about the long-term perspective and the integration of carbon removals into our climate policies towards 2050,” said Christian Holzleitner, head of unit at the European Commission’s climate directorate.

“And here, we are taking the first step with our legislative initiative on certification,” he told a EURACTIV event last week.

The proposal will be tabled next year, the European Commission confirmed on Wednesday (15 September) in a letter of intent outlining the EU executive’s legislative plans for 2022.

Although world leaders won’t openly admit to it, the need to remove carbon from the atmosphere is already clear, scientists say.

Even if nations succeed at cutting CO2 in accordance with the Paris Agreement, there would still be ‘residual emissions’ coming from sectors like agriculture and industry, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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EurActiv, 16 Sep 2021: EU plans certification scheme for carbon dioxide removals