Carbon certification proposal risks climate action

On the last day of November, the EU Commission launched its proposal for certifying removals of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as part of its efforts to reach zero emissions by 2050. Commission Vice-president Frans Timmermans argued for the need for the proposal during a press briefing on the same day: “Deep and drastic emission cuts will always be the core of our efforts but it’s impossible to bring all of our emissions down to zero, so we will need carbon removals as well through technology or natural carbon sinks”.

However, the proposal has sounded alarms among climate justice and environment campaigners, food, farm, development, and faith-based groups, and experts across Europe and beyond. Over 200 organisations have signed Real Zero Europe’s statement, calling for the EU to “deliver real, deep, emissions cuts now,” instead of generating false confidence in unproven future [carbon dioxide removal] CDR. They argue the proposal will delay real action and cause governments to miss the rapidly-closing window to keep global temperatures below 1.5 degrees of warming by locking in fossil fuels for decades to come.

Lucy Cadena, the coordinator of the Real Zero Europe campaign, said: “Every ton of future promised carbon removals represents a delay in emissions cuts today, bringing us deeper into climate chaos. COP27 revealed the corporate greenwash of ‘net zero,’ with a fossil fuel phaseout omitted from the final outcome. Now, we are bringing this fight home – we cannot let historical polluters like the EU off the hook.”

The proposal:
Pressrelease from the Real Zero Europee campaign, 28 November 2022:


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