‘Carbon gamble’? EU lawmakers back CO2 removal certification scheme

(EurActiv, 25 Oct 2023) European Parliament lawmakers voted Tuesday (24 October) to uphold plans to certify carbon removals in the European Union, paving the way for new technologies to suck CO2 directly from the atmosphere.

While MEPs stressed that reducing greenhouse emissions must remain a top priority for the EU in the fight against climate change, they also threw their weight behind the carbon removal scheme, adopting the proposal by 59 votes in favour, 17 against and 9 abstentions.

“Climate change is already so serious that we cannot rely solely on emissions reductions but also need to remove carbon. This framework is the tooAl that makes this possible,” said Lídia Pereira, a Portuguese lawmaker from the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) who is the Parliament’s speaker on the proposal.

The Parliament’s aim, Pereira said, was to ensure high-quality carbon removals and “regulate a market that has been plagued by greenwashing, lack of clarity and distrust”.

Planting trees, which suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow, is today the most widespread carbon removal technique, and has been used by airlines to allow flyers to “offset” their emissions.

However, carbon offsets are controversial and have faced harsh criticism from forest campaigners who called the move a “carbon gamble”.

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EurActiv, 25 Oct 2023: ‘Carbon gamble’? EU lawmakers back CO2 removal certification scheme