Carbon Market Watch calls on organisations, businesses and academics to join its open call for the EU to explicitly separate its targets and policies for emissions reductions, carbon sequestration in the land sector and permanent removals in its post-2030 climate framework.
The Paris Agreement is in grave jeopardy unless swift political action is taken. As the European Commission prepares the groundwork for the post-2030 EU climate policy framework, the time has come to demand separate, explicit targets and policies for emissions reductions, carbon sequestration in the land sector and permanent removals.
Emissions reductions, carbon sequestration in the land sector and permanent removals have different roles to play in the context of the climate crisis. The science is abundantly clear that urgent, deep and sustained emissions reductions are necessary to limit global warming to 1.5°C and avoid climate breakdown with its irreversible impact and risks for human and natural systems.
Bearing this in mind, permanent carbon removals will be an unavoidable – but supplementary – tool to balance out the very last residual emissions, and ultimately achieve net negative emissions globally. But they cannot substitute emissions reduction. At the same time, many of the activities which can sequester carbon in vegetation and soil have vital benefits for biodiversity and ecosystems and should be promoted for these benefits.
The power of separation
Implementing a separate governance approach to each of these three areas would enable the EU to maximise the benefits of land sequestration and permanent removals and minimise associated risks while not distracting from our top priority of slashing CO2 emissions. Addressing the three activities separately also increases trust in and the accountability of the EU’s climate policy architecture, boosts its effectiveness and enhances certainty for high-quality project developers.
The European Climate Law establishes a partial, but not explicit, separation by capping the amount of removals by natural sinks that can be used to achieve the 2030 net emissions reduction target of at least 55% compared to 1990 levels.
Taking this approach a step further and considering the support for separation expressed by the majority of respondents to the European Commission’s public consultation on the EU Climate Target for 2040, Carbon Market Watch is seeking stakeholders to sign a letter to policymakers urging them to place the principle of three distinct targets at the heart of the Commission’s upcoming communication on the EU climate target for 2040 and its accompanying impact assessment. Furthermore, the Commission should uphold the separation approach in subsequent proposals surrounding the setting and implementation of the 2040 target, the updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) for the EU and any other subsequent climate target.
The letter is now open for signatories. If you are a scientist or represent a civil society organisation, business, or other stakeholder who wishes to endorse this initiative, please get in touch through this form where you will find the text of the letter.