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On the Way to Climate Neutrality: Defining Real and Credible Carbon Removals

November 18th, 2020
14:00 – 16:30


Background: The IPCC 1.5°C Special Report states that, in addition to the urgent need to cut CO2 pollution, significant carbon dioxide removals (CDR) will be necessary over this century. However, there are, potentially, risks involved in getting CDR policies wrong. Counting on removals that fail to materialise or are easily reversible could undermine climate efforts, and/or provide a dangerous distraction from prioritising and investing in emission reductions.

CDR is also high on the EU’s political agenda. The Climate Law makes it legally binding for the EU to achieve a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and carbon removals at the latest by 2050. The European Commission also included CDRs in its proposal for the 2030 headline climate target. 

A first step to avoid pitfalls related to CDRs is to set a robust but flexible definition that will allow policymakers to determine which technologies and practices lead to real carbon removals, and which ones do not. At this event, organised by Bellona Europa and Carbon Market Watch (as members of the European Horizon 2020 NEGEM project), we will test and receive feedback on how to define the ‘negative’ in negative emissions based on four principles.


14:00 – 14:10 Welcome by Bellona Europa

14:10 – 14:25 Opening Remarks by Terhi Lehtonen, Environment State Secretary, Finland

14:25 – 15:00 Principle 1 – Removal of CO2 from the atmosphere

  • Christoph Beuttler, ClimeWorks
  • Lorie Hamelin, University of Toulouse
  • Heidi Sorensen, Head of Oslo Climate Agency

15:00 – 15:35 Principle 2 – Storing CO2 in a manner intended to be permanent 

  • Graeme Sweeney, Zero Emissions Platform 
  • Kelsey Perlman, Fern

15:35 – 15:45 Break from our screens to stretch our legs

15:45 – 16:20 Principles 3 & 4 – Getting the accounting right 

  • Andrea Ramirez, TU Delft 
  • Peter Zapfel, European Commission

16:20 – 16:30 Wrap up by Carbon Market Watch – which problems can a good definition solve?

More information here

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