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Workshop 2: Discussing the key elements for EU permanent removals instruments

Having set the terms of discussion at the first workshop, participants met in person to brainstorm how the EU should govern permanent removals in a safe and sustainable manner 

CO2ol Down participants assembled in Brussels on 8 March 2024 to collaborate in person for the first time. They built upon February’s online workshop where it was established there is a need to revise EU Climate Law, acknowledging that emissions reductions must be prioritised and supplemented by separate targets for land sequestration and carbon removals in the EU.

Sharing perspectives

There are many angles that must be considered when creating a balanced and complete framework for carbon removals. To gain these various perspectives, the workshop drew on the expertise of participants from academia, civil society and business.

A variety of speakers took to the floor to present proposals from the EU and other jurisdictions around the world, sharing position papers and academic literature. The presentations acted as sources of inspiration for the co-creation of policy recommendations to govern permanent removals in the EU.  

Martin Cames of Öko Institut set the scene by providing a general overview on governance and incentivisation of carbon removals. This was closely followed by Wijnand Stoefs of Carbon Market Watch who detailed the issues with integrating removals in the EU Emissions Trading System.

The first two presentations were followed by six additional interventions. Isabella Corpora of the Carbon Business Council presented on the California SB308 Carbon Dioxide Removal Act & Removal Trading Scheme (Ecologic), Ingrid Sundovor of the Carbon Balance Initiative detailed the Carbon Takeback Obligation, and Elisabeth Harding of the Negative Emissions Platform showcased the different options for financial support for carbon removals.

The final batch of presentations was led by Rodica Avornic of Carbon Gap on the revision of the EU’s Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR), followed by Duncan McLaren of UCLA on the Carbon pooling mechanism, and finally Felix Schenuit of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs on the Carbon Central Bank.

After the interventions, participants were divided into groups of three to dive deeper into the details of the proposals. The discussion was recorded graphically on wall posters.

Miriam Vicente Marcos, Carbon Market Watch

Poké Bowl – a mix of ingredients for EU permanent removals instruments

Stimulated by the inspiring presentations of the morning session, CO2ol down participants discussed the ideal combination of ingredients for one or several instruments dedicated to permanent removals in the EU. An innovative idea to combine all the competing carbon removal components together is to imagine them as if they are ingredients in a poké bowl. All issues are important and add a distinct flavour, but to combine them into a tasteful option requires some thought.

That is why groups representing a gender balanced and an equal spread of professional background were established to try and see if they could create a suitable recipe.

Each group took turns in discussing six key areas: finance, target and goal setting, portfolio approach, sustainability criteria (including an environmental and social dimension), mechanism structure and governance, as well as miscellaneous issues not covered by the previous five.

Participants drew their ideas onto paper before taking it in turns, once they had discussed all topic areas, to share their collective opinion with the others. 

Miriam Vicente Marcos, Carbon Market Watch

An ‘appreciation of the day’ exercise was then completed for all partners to share their reflections on all that had been debated and discussed.

Miriam Vicente Marcos, Carbon Market Watch

The final workshop will be held on 25 April to iron out all the ideas from both workshop 1 and 2. The aim is to consolidate them into a proposal for a revision of the EU Climate Law and shape a set of policy recommendations for instruments on permanent removals in the EU.

Miriam Vicente Marcos, Carbon Market Watch

Participants in alphabetical order

Blue Group

Aaron Benjamin, Direct Air Capture Coalition. Martin Cames, Oeko-Institut. Navraj S Ghaleigh, University of Edinburgh. Nicole Herold, DVNE. Martin Pigeon, Fern. Julia Teppe, WWF Germany

Green Group

Rachel Ardiff, Oxford Net Zero. Joshua Burke, Grantham Research Institute (London School of Economics). Isabella Corpora, Carbon Business Council. Bali Lee, Rethinking Removals. Alex Mason, WWF European Policy Office. Riccardo Nigro, European Environmental Bureau. Codie Rossi, Clean Air Task Force

Orange Group

Aymeric Amand, Sandbag. Rodica Avornic, Carbon Gap. William Druet, ZEP. Julius Lang, Novocarbo. Mark Preston, Bellona Europa. Ingrid Sundvor, Carbon Balance Initiative

Pink Group

Moritz Adam, Wetlands International European Association. Alice Evatt, University of Oxford. Elisabeth Harding, Negative Emissions Platform. Hanna Ojanen, Carbo Culture. Leon Podehl, German Energy Agency (dena). Felix Schenuit, German Institute for International and Security Affairs. Wijnand Stoefs, Carbon Market Watch

Red Group

Ulriikka Aarnio, Climate Action Network Europe. Bojana Bajzelj, Supercritical. Bernardo Galantini, T&E. Duncan McLaren, UCLA. Nicolas Remilien, #SustainablePublicAffairs. Kasia Wilk, Drax Group

Yellow Group

Mafalda Antunes, ZERO asts. Bruno Capuzzi, ApexBrasil. Wim Carton, Lund University. Silvia Pastorelli, Greenpeace EU. Allanah Paul, Bellona Europa. Daniel Reinemann, Bioenergy Europe. Despoina Tsimprikidou, CCSA


Fabiola De Simone, Carbon Market Watch. Kilian Flade, Institut für Partizipatives Gestalten. Sabine Frank, Carbon Market Watch. Marlène Ramón Hernández, Carbon Market Watch. Jascha Rohr, Institut für Partizipatives Gestalten. Sam van den plas, Carbon Market Watch

Editorial Group

Ulriikka Aarnio. Martin Cames. William Druet. Elisabeth Harding. Duncan McLaren. Mark Preston. Felix Schenuit. Julia Teppe

Communications Support

Miriam Vicente Marcos, Carbon Market Watch


  • Gavin Mair

    Gavin is a member of the communications team. He formerly supported the work of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, and held responsibility for media output and office management for two MEPs prior to Brexit. He is an experienced campaigner, relishing the challenge of communicating for causes that have a social and environmental impact and is motivated by CMW’s mission of holding businesses and governments to account as they move towards essential environmental ambitions and transitions. When not fighting the good fight Gavin can typically be found enjoying live music or attending to his houseplants.

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Workshop 3: The co-creation continues

Participants at the third meeting of the CO2ol Down campaign took a giant leap towards finalising their proposed amendments to the EU Climate Law and policy recommendations for governing permanent carbon removals in the EU

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