It seems to be a fair assessment that the Commission’s proposal on the Carbon Removals Certification Framework has put EU climate policies at a crossroads. The proposal requests answers to fundamental questions of EU climate policy making, but so far the political discussion largely avoids them. It is bogged down in technical details. Critical questions of the role of carbon removals in EU climate policy making and possible uses of carbon removal units remain unanswered. The political discussion also makes many assumptions without clarifying them, in particular it assumes that emission offsetting is possible. In essence, the discussion takes the second step before the first.
At the Webinar "Making Carbon Removals a Real Climate Solution – How (not) to integrate carbon removals into EU climate policies" a new Ecologic paper with the same title will be presented. The following questions will be discussed in the paper and the webinar:
What is the role of carbon removals in future EU policies? For what purposes can they be used, and for what purposes should they not be used? Should EU climate policies maintain the principle of non-interchangeability between removals and emission reductions from fossil fuels? Should the definition of carbon removals require storage duration that corresponds to the atmospheric lifetime of CO2? Can removals become a currency to meet reduction obligations? Is it a good idea to integrate carbon removal units into the EU Emission Trading Scheme? How can EU carbon removal policies fully take account of the fact that the climate crisis will undermine the carbon storage capacities of natural sinks severely, possibly turning an ally in the fight against the climate crisis into an enemy? To what extent can removal options with permanent storage play a meaningful role when their removal capacities are tiny, their costs are high, and their consumption of clean energy is significant?
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