European Commission proposes certification of carbon dioxide removal to help achieve net zero emissions

Plan działania na rzecz lepszego

The European Commission on November 30, 2022, adopted a proposal for the first EU-wide voluntary framework to credibly certify high-quality carbon dioxide removal. The proposal is expected to contribute to the development of innovative carbon removal technologies and sustainable solutions for regenerative agriculture, and to the achievement of the EU’s climate, environmental and zero-emission goals. The adopted proposal is expected to be crucial to the EU’s goal of becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. To achieve this goal, the EU needs to keep greenhouse gas emissions to a minimum.

To ensure the transparency and credibility of the certification process, the proposal sets out rules for independent verification of carbon dioxide removal, as well as rules for recognizing certification schemes that can be used to demonstrate compliance with the EU framework. To ensure the quality and comparability of carbon dioxide removal, the proposed regulation establishes four QU.A.L.ITY criteria:

  1. Quantification – measurability: Carbon dioxide removal activities must be accurately measured and have clear climate benefits;
  2. Additionality: carbon dioxide removal activities must go beyond already existing practices and legal requirements;
  3. Long-term storage: certificates are tied to the duration of carbon storage to ensure permanent storage;
  4. Sustainability – sustainability: Carbon removal activities must protect or contribute to sustainable development goals such as climate change adaptation, a circular economy, water and marine resources, and biodiversity.

The EC’s proposed proposal is to support regenerative agriculture, which includes agricultural practices that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and contribute to the goal of climate neutrality. Certification will enable more effective rewards for regenerative agriculture, through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) or other public or private initiatives.

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