A leaked proposal of the European Commission says that the EU will not be able to deliver on the carbon removals necessary to reach net-zero, and so it must boost its efforts in that direction.
The leaked text was seen and reported by EURACTIV just days before the official legislative proposal is scheduled to be brought forward by the European Commission on November 30.
And its main focus is to create a comprehensive EU carbon removals certification scheme that will ensure removals are monitored, genuine and long-lasting.
Existing carbon dioxide removal (CDR) methods are nature-based and include the natural absorption of CO2 by forests, oceans and soils.
But technological solutions for the problem of excessive greenhouse gasses (GHG) in the atmosphere, such as direct air capture or DAC, are gaining traction and will likely be detailed in the new legislative proposal.
EU climate chief Frans Timmermans has great faith in CDR and has described it as something that is ‘indispensable’ to achieving climate neutrality by 2050, which the leaked draft suggests that EU is not on the way to do with the current state of affairs.
Namely, it is estimated that for that goal to be reached, the European Union must remove the equivalent of several hundred tons of CO2 per year.
And to make sure that these targets are met, there is a need to establish a rigid, transparent certification system to confirm the quality of carbon removals, both for private operators and public entities.
What happens to the CO2 that is removed from the air is also of the essence, and the European Commission will be looking at three main areas of CDR and storage: carbon farming, carbon that is stored in products (e.g., utilization) and permanent removal.