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Towards a European standard for the voluntary carbon removal market

The Commission proposal before the end of the year

(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – To achieve climate neutrality by the middle of the century, the EU will have to rely on carbon removal to offset the remaining emissions in the hard-to-abate sectors.

“Carbon removals will have to play an increasingly important role and become the main objective of action after the achievement of climate neutrality and when negative emissions will be necessary to stabilize the rise in world temperature”, The Commission wrote in a policy paper last December. Hence the need to create a European standard for the voluntary co2 removal market, in which schemes for carbon dioxide removal (CDR) have shared standards and common rules. How will this market be made?

Europe will not invent anything but will build a new structure from the existing markets. In fact, it is a real wild west where lack of transparency dominates and it is difficult to understand the true effectiveness of certified actions. Today, methods for monitoring and assessing the impact of non-aligned carbon removal measures, involving private parties, coexist. And the market remains at very low prices.
To change direction, the EU will present a proposal by the end of the year to harmonize all existing monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) processes. It will apply to all carbon credits generated in the EU, allowing foreign companies to purchase them but with the constraint that they are geographically located in the European space. Lukas Visek, a member of the cabinet of the Commission’s vice-president with responsibility for climate change, Frans Timmermans, made this known during a debate organized by Euractiv.

The voluntary market of carbon credits is not something that the Commission is now going to introduce from scratch. These carbon credits exist, they are verified and certified by private schemes (but) the price is often very low,said Lukas Visek.

However, some of the main issues remain to be resolved. Above all, how does the mechanism of the voluntary carbon removal market MRV in the event that the stored CO2 is re-emitted prematurely, for example in the event of a forest fire.

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