The proposed regulation will significantly improve the EU’s capacity to quantify, monitor, and verify carbon removals. Higher transparency will ensure trust from stakeholders and industry, and prevent greenwashing, the EC said in a press release.
The European Commission (EC) has adopted a proposal for a first European Union (EU)-wide voluntary framework to reliably certify high-quality carbon removals. The proposal will boost innovative carbon removal technologies as well as sustainable carbon farming solutions, and contribute to the EU’s climate, environmental, and zero-pollution goals.
Carbon removals can and must bring clear benefits for the climate, and the commission will prioritise those carbon removal activities which will provide significant benefits for biodiversity. Moving forward, the commission, supported by experts, will develop tailored certification methods for carbon removal activities delivering on climate and other environmental objectives.
To ensure the transparency and credibility of the certification process, the proposal sets out rules for the independent verification of carbon removals, as well as rules to recognise certification schemes that can be used to demonstrate compliance with the EU framework. To ensure the quality and comparability of carbon removals, the proposed regulation establishes four QU.A.L.ITY criteria.
Quantification means carbon removal activities need to be measured accurately and deliver unambiguous benefits for the climate. Additionality means carbon removal activities need to go beyond existing practices and what is required by law. Long-term storage means certificates are linked to the duration of carbon storage so as to ensure permanent storage. Lastly, Sustainability means carbon removal activities must preserve or contribute to sustainability objectives such as climate change adaptation, circular economy, water and marine resources, and biodiversity.
This proposal is essential to the EU’s goal of becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. To achieve this goal, the EU needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to a minimum. At the same time, the EU will have to scale up the removal of carbon from the atmosphere to balance out emissions which cannot be eliminated.
Industrial technologies, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) or direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS), can capture carbon and store it permanently, added the release.
The commission proposal will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council, in line with ordinary legislative procedure. Based on the QU.A.L.ITY criteria, the commission will develop tailored certification methodologies for the different types of carbon removal activities, supported by an expert group.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (NB)