New carbon dioxide removal approaches are part of the conversation at the European Commission. As the bloc recently launched its revolutionary climate change policy plan to cut emissions by 55% compared to 1990 levels by 2030, it also reiterated a new carbon removal method in agriculture as part of achieving the climate change target.
The approach is called carbon farming for sequestering CO2 emissions and includes regenerating degraded agricultural land, lowering fertilizer use, or increasing the share of land for organic farming.
The method has already been announced as part of the EU’s flagship food policy called the Farm to Fork strategy (F2F). The F2F is not official legislation in itself but rather exists to outline specific new standards for the future foot system.
The strategy is planned to be submitted through the EU’s usual legislative process and an official “legislative framework for sustainable food systems” is expected to be proposed by 2023. The framework will aim to set common definitions and requirements for all actors in the food system aligned with the EU’s net zero targets.
For the carbon farming initiative, in particular, the first legal proposal is expected to be released by the end of the year.
Carbon Dioxide Removal Certification Mechanism
Another CO2 removal approach is also on the table – a carbon removal certification mechanism. The mechanism serves as a regulatory framework outlining the natural and technical carbon removal methods and providing adequate mandates and incentives needed to take off the market of carbon removal solutions.
A carbon removal certification mechanism is already introduced in the Circular Economy Action Plan that is due to be presented by 2023. One of the goals of the Commission with the mechanism is to make sure that any kind of emission reduction or enhanced carbon removal is carefully accounted for through the certification.
The new carbon dioxide removal initiatives are aiming to create new business models to increase carbon sequestration along with creating job opportunities and providing incentives for relevant training, reskilling, and upskilling as positive side effects. The gricultural carbon farming approach is also expected to include farmers in the carbon markets and provide new revenue streams for them as they have been excluded until now.