In its Impact Assessment on Stepping up Europe’s 2030 climate ambition, the Commission announced that it will develop a regulatory framework in 2023 for certifying carbon removals (on the basis of transparent carbon accounting). However, no clear definition of ‘carbon removal’ is given, either in the Impact Assessment or in EU legislation in general.
On 7 October 2020, Bulgarian Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Eva Maydell of the Group of the European People’s Party addressed a written parliamentary question to the European Commission and asked the Commission “does it plan to develop a coherent single definition, and if so, how?”
On 09 December, Executive Vice-President Timmermans responded on behalf of the European Commission and said that “the 2050 EU objective of climate neutrality will require offsetting the residual hard to abate emissions with nature or technology-based solutions to remove carbon from the atmosphere”.
Executive Vice-President Timmermans asserted that “in order to incentivise the removal of carbon for long-term storage or sustainable reuse, the Commission has announced in the 2020 Circular Economy Action Plan an initiative to propose by 2023 a regulatory framework for certification of carbon removals based on robust and transparent carbon accounting to monitor and verify the authenticity of carbon removals”. He further explained that “in the preparation of this initiative, the Commission will consult with public authorities, industries, farmers and landowners’ associations, scientists and other relevant stakeholders to take views on the main elements related to the certification of carbon removals”.
In ending, Executive Vice-President Timmermans clarified that “these discussions will support the design of the Commission’s proposal for a regulatory framework in terms of scope, certification rules, governance and help to define which type of carbon removal should be included”.
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