Environmental Groups Urge EU to Drop Carbon Removal From Climate Plans

Environmental Groups Urge EU to Drop Carbon Removal From Climate Plans - Carbon Herald
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About 170 environmental groups issued a joint appeal on Nov. 28 asking the European Union to drop carbon removal methods from its climate plans. The organizations argued that some of those methods rely on unproven technology while others may absorb a smaller amount of emissions than claimed. 

The European Commission has proposed to create a system for certifying carbon offsets. However, the environmental groups – which include Friends of the Earth, Corporate Accountability, and the Center for International Environmental Law – called the plans to use fields, forests, or machines for future large-scale carbon removal a “greenwashing fantasy.”

The organizations urged the Commission to commit to gross emissions cuts, instead of the net cuts many countries and companies currently include in their climate plans. 

Relevant: European Union To Launch Carbon Removal System

Earlier this month, a leaked proposal from the European Commission said that the EU will not be able to deliver on the carbon removals necessary to reach net zero, and so it must increase its efforts in that direction. The leaked text was seen and reported by EURACTIV just a week before the official legislative proposal is scheduled to be brought forward by the European Commission on Nov. 30. 

At the same time, during this year’s UN Climate Summit, no consensus was reached regarding the global criteria for carbon removals, and their adoption was delayed until COP28. The national delegations criticized the proposed text and said more work needs to be done. Once approved, the criteria will serve as the basis for governments to meet part of their climate goals by trading emissions removal certificates.

The EU has committed to achieving its net zero targets by 2050. Scientists have established that in order to stay in line with the Paris Agreement, greenhouse gas emissions need to be halved by the end of this decade.

Read more: Leaked Proposal Says EU Should Boost Its Carbon Removals 

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