Sunset over peatland

EU’s Carbon Removals Certification Framework is certifiably problematic

Alarm bells for the climate were set off last week by a leak of the European Commission’s proposal for a Carbon Removal Certification Framework (CRCF). The draft leaves many important questions unanswered and vital issues unaddressed, and could usher in an era of greenwashed and money-wasting carbon removals.  On 30 November, the European Commission is …

Open safety deposit boxes

Plundering the EU’s carbon market to fight the energy crunch is self-defeating

Raiding the reserve that underpins the EU’s Emissions Trading System to reduce the European Union’s dependence on Russian gas is short-sighted and destructive, especially as far better solutions exist. The Market Stability Reserve (MSR) is an important element of the EU Emissions Trading System. It has proven effective in supporting the carbon price, and helped …

EU member states’ haphazard approach to carbon removals puts climate goals and nature at risk

National governments in the European Union are botching their planning of carbon removals. This lack of strategic thinking and focus on false solutions threatens the climate and biodiversity, a new study reveals. To avoid this, they must develop a clear vision of what carbon removals can achieve and focus primarily on lowering emissions. While carbon …

Carbon removals are no substitute for deep emissions reductions, warns IPCC

Carbon removals will become a vital tool for reducing carbon concentrations in the atmosphere but only massive cuts in emissions will give humanity a fighting chance of keeping global heating to 1.5°C or below, says the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The latest IPCC report, which was released in April, outlines various pathways …

A sustainable carbons cycle or a vicious emissions cycle?

Despite some good elements, the European Commission’s proposed carbon removal strategy leaves the door wide open to offsetting after 2030, which will undermine its ability to reduce emissions, writes Wijnand Stoefs. On 15 December 2021, the European Commission published its Sustainable Carbon Cycles Communication, which showcases its vision for carbon farming, industrial carbon capture and …

Unsustainable business cycles trump sustainable carbon cycles in EU’s CO2 removals strategy

The European Commission released today its much-anticipated Sustainable Carbon Cycles Communication. The strategy undermines its own goals of reducing atmospheric carbon concentration by allowing companies to use removals to offset their emissions in the future. The strategy sets out a blueprint for how the European Union can harness carbon dioxide removals and so-called carbon farming …

Rocking the boat on shipping emissions

This week’s talks at the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) must chart a speedy and ambitious course towards zero-emissions shipping.  Today (22 November), the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) hit the waves again – but, this time, with potential rays of hope on the horizon. Momentum is …

Carbon capture and utilisation is unfit for 55

Carbon capture and utilisation (CCU), which is almost always only a temporary store of greenhouse gases, should not absolve corporations of their obligations to pay for their pollution, writes Wijnand Stoefs. The European Commission has proposed introducing CCU into the EU carbon market policy framework as a part of its ‘Fit for 55’ revamp of …

Penetrating the carbon removal smokescreen

Carbon dioxide removal, or carbon removal for short, is a controversial and widely misunderstood topic. Harnessed properly, it can help cool our planet and combat global heating. Misused, it can be reduced to an exercise in greenwashing and creative climate bookkeeping that enables polluters to continue polluting with impunity. Wijnand Stoefs explains. Carbon removal means …

There is no cheating the atmosphere

Simply throwing public money at misleading climate solutions, such as carbon capture and storage/utilisation, would be a huge mistake. Although books can be cooked, the atmosphere cannot be cheated. Back in June, fifteen Members of the European Parliament sent an open letter to European  Commisson Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, Internal Market Commissioner …