EU Commission Proposal on Carbon Removals: A good basis for a long road ahead
BRUSSELS – 30 November 2022 – To reach the EU’s declared goal of climate neutrality by 2050 and limit global warming to beneath 1.5°C, it is of utmost importance to remove carbon from the atmosphere. As stated by Frans Timmermans during the unveiling of the proposal, “To become carbon neutral, […] it will be impossible to bring all of our emissions down to zero. We will need carbon removals through technology or natural carbon sinks.” Therefore, the European Biochar Industry Consortium (EBI) welcomes the European Commission’s Proposal for a Regulation on an EU certification for carbon removals, which aims to facilitate the uptake of high quality carbon removals.
The EBI appreciates the Commission’s action to promote the swift implementation of sustainable carbon removal technologies. As stated within the proposal, carbon removal activities have great potential to deliver benefits for both carbon sequestration as well as biodiversity restoration, circular economy, and sustainable farming. The EBI particularly welcomes the Commission’s aim to regulate the quality, credibility, and sustainability of carbon removal solutions via the proposal’s QU.A.L.ITY criteria, which is imperative to the net environmental benefit, durability, and efficiency of carbon storage efforts. The encouragement and broad application of high-potential, sustainable, and readily scalable solutions like biochar/PyCCS (Pyrogenic Carbon Capture and Storage) that adhere to the QU.A.L.ITY criteria can fast-track the Commission’s efforts and ensure the success of the proposal going forward.
In this context, the EBI proposes the following recommendations to policymakers:
- Carbon removal assessments and criteria must be science-based and future-proof while allowing for the evolution and scale-up of emerging carbon removal industries;
- Therefore, a constant monitoring of existing carbon removal technologies and elaboration of a dynamic roadmap is needed;
- The regulation must ensure that safe and scalable carbon sequestration technologies with high TRLs like PyCCS/biochar are prioritized;
- The permanence of a carbon sink should be defined merely by the timescale the carbon is safely removed (hundreds of years), not by the storage site (geological reservoirs).
- The aim to promote and facilitate carbon storage in products must be reflected in other ongoing circular initiatives such as the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) and the Construction Products Regulation (CPR).
As the Carbon Removals proposal begins its journey through the legislative process, EBI looks forward to working with European policy makers to ensure strong and fit for purpose legislation that will set the gold standard for carbon removals for the EU and beyond.
Learn more about EBI and its technologies by following the link here.