QU.A.L.ITY Soil Carbon Removals?
Assessing the EU Framework for Carbon Removal Certification from a climate-friendly soil management perspective
McDonald, H.; Siemons, A.; Bodle, R.; Hobeika, M.; Scheid, A.; Schneider, L. (2023): QU.A.L.ITY soil carbon removals? Assessing the EU Framework for Carbon Removal Certification's from a climate-friendly soil management perspective. Ecologic Institute, Berlin.
The EU Commission's recently proposed Framework for Carbon Removals Certification aims to incentivise carbon removal from the atmosphere – but is it well-suited to climate-friendly soil management?
In this brief, researchers from Ecologic Institute and Oeko-Institut critically assess the Commission's 2022 proposal for Framework for Carbon Removals Certification as it applies to climate-friendly soil management. In particular, they evaluate whether Framework's so-called QU.A.L.ITY criteria (Quantification, Additionality, Long-term storage, Sustainability) are sufficient to ensure high quality soil carbon removals. The brief summarises the specific challenge posed by soil carbon sequestration, identifies problems with the current proposal, and makes recommendations for improvements. The brief is available for download.
- Overall, the authors find that the current Carbon Removal Certification Framework proposal is insufficient to ensure high quality removals from climate-friendly soil management. Changes in the proposal are necessary to ensure that the Framework supports the transition of EU land and agriculture sectors to sustainability.
- The challenges posed by climate-friendly soil management mean that associated removals should not be permitted for offsetting. Other uses – such as contribution claims and targeting public funding - are more appropriate uses for climate-friendly soil management removals. Generally, the eligible uses of the removal certificates should be clearly defined, as the use of the certificate should determine the Framework’s design.
- To address the challenges posed by climate-friendly soil management, the Framework should use more robust approaches to achieve the QU.A.L.ITY criteria. In the brief, we recommend changes to each of the Quantification, Additionality, Long-term storage, and Sustainability criteria.
The brief was completed as part of an UBA-funded project, Nature-based Solutions for Climate Protection – Financing climate-friendly soil management.