EU Commission wants captured CO2 to become ‘tradeable commodity’

(EurActiv, 29 Jan 2024) A leaked European Commission paper on “industrial carbon management”, to be published on 6 February, lays the groundwork for captured carbon dioxide to be “recycled” in chemical processes or used as maritime and jet fuel, while accounting for non-emitted CO2 in the bloc’s carbon market.

An EU-wide approach is needed “to establish a European single market for industrial carbon management” and meet the Union’s objective of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, according to the draft policy document, obtained by Euractiv.

The policy paper, which outlines future policy options and does not contain legal obligations for EU countries or businesses at this stage, is due to be presented on 6 February, alongside another policy document on the EU’s 2040 climate target.

It does make clear, however, what the EU’s future climate policy could look like beyond 2030.

To reach climate neutrality, “the EU will need to be ready to capture at least 50 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030” and “up to 450 million tonnes by 2050,” the document says.

This will be essential to counterbalance “residual emissions” in sectors like agriculture, transport and industry that are unlikely to achieve full decarbonisation by then, the document argues.

Moreover, carbon removals – sucking CO2 directly from atmosphere – will also be needed after 2050 in order “to achieve negative emissions thereafter,” it adds.

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EurActiv, 29 Jan 2024: EU Commission wants captured CO2 to become ‘tradeable commodity’