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The Carbon Removal Certification Framework and EU climate targets: Opportunities and shortcomings

Date: 30 May 2023
Time: 11.30-13.00 CEST
Location: European Parliament and online
Organised by: Carbon Market Watch
Hosted by: MEP Emma Wiesner and MEP Tiemo Wölken

Carbon dioxide removals, also known as negative emissions or carbon removals, refers to scrubbing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and storing them permanently. The science is clear that we will need to remove carbon from the atmosphere this century in order to keep global heating below 1.5°C. In this context, the European Commission’s proposal for the creation of a certification system for carbon removals in the EU could be a first step in determining what actually constitutes valid carbon dioxide removals and in understanding the related environmental and social impacts, thus helping ensure the effective and sustainable deployment of these methods in Europe. Still, some important details must be addressed and improved to ensure the best use of good-quality removals in the EU.

The event will discuss the proposed Carbon Removals Certification Framework (CRCF), touching upon three main themes:
  • Role and use of removals
  • Definition of removals, permanent vs. temporary
  • Carbon farming, land-based removals and administrative burden



Welcome and introduction by the hosts 

Role and use of removals

What role should removals play in the EU climate framework? Should this be part of the discussions on the CRCF? What role can offsetting fulfil? 

  • Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf, Senior Fellow and Head of the International and European Governance Program at Ecologic (remote)


Definition of removals, permanent vs. temporary

What can be used as a good definition of removals? What is the difference between permanent and temporary removals for the climate?

  • Danny Cullenward – Research Fellow with the Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy at American University (remote)


Carbon farming / Land-based removals / Administrative burden

What are the risks of applying a crediting approach to carbon farming? Are there any alternatives? Would activity-based finance be a more suitable approach for this category? Should carbon farming not positively contribute to the sustainability criteria?

  • Kelsey Perlman, Forest and Climate Campaigner at Fern 


Reactions from the host MEPs

Conclusions  – Carbon Market Watch



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