EU Parliament Approves Key Climate Laws On Carbon Emissions 

EU Parliament Approves Key Climate Laws On Carbon Emissions - Carbon Herald
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The EU Parliament passed on Apr. 18 five key climate laws that aim to achieve the European Union’s climate targets for 2050. Among those are forest CO2 removals, technologies such as direct air capture, and agricultural practices. 

The Members of Parliament (MEPs) said they recognize the EU has the potential to limit climate change but stressed that the bloc should always prioritize swift and predictable reductions to emissions. The MEPs also said the EU should not rely too heavily on future carbon removals to achieve climate-neutral targets after 2050. 

The Parliament took note of the European Commission’s proposal for a regulation on establishing an EU certification framework for CO2 removals as well as a framework to identify activities that clearly remove CO2 from the air. They said that such a monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) framework should be used to incentivize CO2 removals.

Forestry and agriculture should play a big part in achieving EU targets from the land use industry, the MEPs noted, adding that increasing CO2 in the soil also improves the soil quality. 

The Plenary asked the Commission to ensure that verified emission and removal data from farms is available well before 2026 in order to use it in the framework of the Sustainable Food System legislation and the next reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

Relevant: EU Parliament Accepts Emissions Trading Changes, Keeps Old Targets

CO2 farming creates an opportunity for farmers to improve their business models as well as to better reward those engaging in sustainable agroforestry practices, the MEPs said. 

“We support sustainable carbon cycles and the concept of carbon farming, which can actively contribute to climate change mitigation,” said Alexander Bernhuber (EPP, Austria. “Carbon farming can become another source of income for European agriculture and forestry. We also believe it should be voluntary and incentive-driven without unnecessary bureaucracy and obligations.”

The resolution also said that technologies like direct air capture that are scientifically proven, safe for the environment, and combined with permanent storage can contribute to reaching climate neutrality in the EU.

Solutions based on carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture and use (CCU) solutions can also play a part in decarbonization, the MEPs said. They called on the Commission to put in place a system to trace captured carbon that distinguishes between CO2 capture on-site and from the atmosphere in order to avoid double counting. They strongly encouraged the Commission to clarify the issue of liability for harm caused to human health, climate, and the environment, in case CO2 removals are reversed.

The key legislative pieces, part of the EU’s Fit for 55 legislative package, also create a separate emissions scheme for road transport and construction and for the first time include the maritime sector in the Emissions Trading System (ETS).

According to the amendments, outside importers of iron, steel, cement, aluminum, fertilizers, electricity, and hydrogen will have to pay the CO2 price difference as if the products were manufactured in the EU.

Read more: European Parliament Adopts New Environmental Reporting Rules For Multinational Companies 

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