Parliament has adopted its position on a new EU certification framework for technological and natural carbon removals to help achieve EU climate neutrality by 2050.
With 448 votes to 65 and 114 abstentions, MEPs agreed with setting up a system to improve the EU’s capacity to quantify, monitor and verify carbon removals. It should help to increase their use, build trust with stakeholders and industry and counter greenwashing.
MEPs stress that the scheme must be in line with international standards and that a ‘EU registry’ must be set up to ensure transparency, provide information to the public, and to avoid the risk of fraud and double counting of carbon removals.
They also see a need to distinguish between the definitions, quality criteria and the rules on carbon removals, carbon farming and carbon storage in products, due to their differences and environmental impact.
Find more details about Parliament’s position here.
After the vote, rapporteur Lídia Pereira (EPP, PT) said: “Climate change is already so serious that we cannot rely solely on emissions reductions but also need to remove carbon. This tool makes this possible, as we are advancing with rules to regulate a market that has been plagued by greenwashing, lack of clarity and distrust. Certification will help attract private investment in carbon removal projects, thereby assisting us in our climate transition and furthering Europe’s climate leadership.”
Parliament is now ready to start negotiations with EU member states.
In April 2023, Parliament adopted a resolution on Sustainable carbon cycles saying that while the EU must always prioritise swift and predictable reductions of GHG emissions, carbon removals must play a growing role in achieving EU climate neutrality by 2050 to balance out emissions that cannot be eliminated.
This legislation responds to citizens’ expectations concerning climate change and the environment as expressed in proposal 1(5) of the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe where they call for the introduction of “a certification of carbon removals, based on robust, solid and transparent carbon accounting”.