Carbon Removal Certification

EESC opinion: Carbon Removal Certification

Key points


  • welcomes the Commission's proposal for an EU certification framework for carbon removals, recognising the need to scale up carbon removals and promote regenerative practices, while not losing the primary focus on crucial greenhouse gas emission reductions to limit global warming,
  • recognises that different carbon removal validation and reward schemes currently exist across the Union and that a common certification framework has the potential to give clarity and reliability to measurement and verification of climate benefits of removals, while more clarity is still required on the expected timeline for full implementation, considering the set of bodies and certification units that will need to be created,
  • calls for the expected carbon storage duration and reversal risks to be clearly reflected in the use of the different carbon removal certificates in order to prevent greenwashing,
  • calls for further safeguards around the value and use of certificates and invites the Commission to provide guidance defining appropriate claims that can be made based on different instances of certified carbon removal,
  • calls on the Commission to ensure that the methodologies are based on scientific evidence and points out that the system for certification is far too complex and burdensome to promote a major uptake of these practices in particular by small-scale businesses,
  • stresses that it is essential to keep the costs of measuring, reporting and verifying of carbon removal activities as low as possible, to ensure broad accessibility of the certification framework,
  • stresses that the potential risks and side effects for major players (farmers, forest industry, and construction and wood industries) need to be carefully assessed and addressed before integrating the certification framework into other policies,
  • considers that the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should not be used to finance carbon farming or carbon removals and that additional financing sources should be made available,
  • feels that the high level of ambiguity around financing will act as a strong disincentive for participation for potential partakers, therefore emphasising that some level of certainty in relation to financing is necessary, for example through a roadmap towards a common financial instrument.