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EnvironmentEU Sets Path for Climate Neutrality with Groundbreaking Carbon Removal Certification Scheme

EU Sets Path for Climate Neutrality with Groundbreaking Carbon Removal Certification Scheme

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In a significant step towards achieving climate neutrality by 2050, the European Commission has hailed the provisional agreement on the first EU-wide certification framework for carbon removals. This landmark decision, reached between the European Parliament and the Council, introduces a voluntary framework aimed at certifying high-quality carbon removals, encompassing both innovative technologies and carbon farming practices.

The new framework is poised to play a crucial role in the EU’s ambitious climate, environmental, and zero-pollution objectives, ensuring transparency and trust in carbon removal initiatives while simultaneously opening up new avenues for business and innovation. “Our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will increasingly depend on technology and innovation in the future, and on making the best use of natural carbon sinks,” stated Maroš Šefčovič, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, highlighting the importance of developing robust certification for carbon removal technologies and farming practices.

Under the provisional agreement, the certification rules will cover a wide range of activities, including carbon farming efforts like forest restoration, soil conservation, and innovative farming techniques, as well as industrial carbon removal processes such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. Additionally, the framework will certify carbon bound in durable products and materials, promoting the use of sustainable building materials and practices.

A key aspect of the agreed regulation is its emphasis on ensuring that carbon removals are accurately quantified, stored for a minimum of 35 years, and contribute to broader sustainability goals, including biodiversity enhancement. An EU registry will be established to foster transparency regarding certified carbon removals, with implementation expected within four years.

Commissioner for Climate Action, Wopke Hoekstra, underscored the framework’s potential to unlock economic opportunities across various sectors, stating, “Carbon removals and carbon farming will be an important part of our efforts to reach climate neutrality by 2050.” He emphasized the framework’s role in fostering a sustainable future where innovation meets environmental responsibility.

The regulation also aims to stimulate financial support for carbon removal technologies through innovative financing models and public sector support, recognizing the commercial and environmental benefits of certified carbon removals. This initiative aligns with the EU’s broader climate and sustainability goals, including the European Green Deal and the European Climate Law, which mandates the EU to achieve a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and removals by 2050.

With the European Parliament and Council set to formally approve the agreement, the EU takes a decisive step towards implementing a comprehensive strategy for sustainable carbon cycles and climate neutrality. This framework not only supports the EU’s long-term climate targets but also paves the way for a sustainable and innovative business environment dedicated to high-quality carbon removals.

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