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EU reaches deal on world’s first carbon removal certification scheme

(EurActiv, 20 Feb 2024) European Union legislators reached a political agreement in the early hours of Tuesday (20 February) on a proposal to set up the world’s first registry for certified carbon dioxide removals obtained from eco-farming practices and industrial processes.

Planting trees, which suck CO2 from the atmosphere as they grow, is today the most widespread form of carbon removal, but industrial technologies are also being developed, such as Direct Air Capture (DAC), where giant fans extract CO2 from the atmosphere and store it permanently.

The tentative agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council of EU member states aims to scale up high-quality carbon removal in the EU to reach the Union’s objective of reducing emissions to net zero by 2050.

The European Commission tabled the proposal in November 2022. It is the first step towards creating an EU-wide registry that will eventually allow trading of carbon removal units corresponding to one tonne of CO2 removed from the atmosphere.

“Carbon Removals are moving forward!” said MEP Lídia Pereira, the Parliament’s speaker on the proposal, in a reaction posted on X.

The new certification scheme “will prevent greenwashing and foster private investment in carbon removals,” she added, saying this will also help develop the voluntary carbon market.

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EurActiv, 20 Feb 2024: EU reaches deal on world’s first carbon removal certification scheme