EU Parliament adopts voluntary certification framework for carbon removals

April 11th, 2024

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted to adopt an agreement to establish an EU certification framework for carbon removals.

The certification framework aims to boost high-quality carbon removals and counter greenwashing, which the Parliament said would help achieve EU climate neutrality by 2050.

The framework received 441 votes in favour and 139 against, with 41 abstentions.

The legislation covers different types of carbon removals, including permanent carbon storage through industrial technologies, carbon storage in long-lasting products and carbon farming.

The scope was also extended in February to cover certain types of carbon farming activities that reduce emissions from agricultural soils, provided they lead to an overall improvement in the soil carbon balance.

The new rule will also enable farmers to get paid to remove carbon, provided carbon farming activities are maintained for at least five years.

It will also set out minimum sustainability requirements and premium for carbon farming activities with biodiversity co-benefits.

Under the legislation, the EU will create a public registry for carbon removals and soil emission reductions to ensure transparency from all the member states.

It said that for any activity to qualify for certification, it must go beyond both EU and national requirements for companies and the incentive effect of the certification must be needed for the activity to become financially viable.

In April 2023, Parliament adopted a resolution on sustainable carbon cycles, which stated that while the EU must prioritise reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, carbon removals should play a growing role in achieving climate neutrality to balance out emissions that cannot be eliminated.

Last month, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee voted in favour of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), a crucial hurdle in the directive’s path to becoming a law.

Last Updated: 12 April 2024