Reward farmers, foresters and SMEs for absorbing CO2

21.11.2023 10:07

Reward farmers, foresters and SMEs for absorbing CO2

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“To achieve climate neutrality by 2050, the EU must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and compensate for residual emissions that cannot be eliminated by increasing carbon absorption. In other words, it is no longer enough to reduce our emissions, we need to increase the amount of carbon dioxide we remove from the atmosphere. The carbon removal certification framework is a critical tool to achieve this goal, as it increases certainty and trust in the certificates,” said Lídia Pereira MEP, the Parliament's lead negotiator on the carbon removal law, which MEPs will vote on today.

The new law will set out rules to incentivise and reward all actors, including industry, foresters and farmers. Putting the latter and potential additional revenues for them, at the forefront has been a key priority for the EPP Group.

“Farmers are the guardians of the climate, and their activities, if carried out properly, can naturally store CO2 in the land and limit its release into the atmosphere. This can mean, for example, better soil management, adapting crops or reducing the use of fertilisers. To encourage them, for the first time at the European scale, we are creating the opportunity for farmers to receive financial compensation by selling certificates for the extra carbon they can store in their land. This will make it possible to attract private investment to climate removal projects that encourage the use of innovative solutions for the capture and storage of CO2,” explained Pereira.

“This is a major step forward that aims to improve and harmonise practices already in place in some Member States, which have often been plagued by greenwashing, lack of clarity and mistrust,” she added.

To ensure the transparency and credibility of the carbon certification process, clear rules for independent third-party verification of carbon removals will be established, as well as strict criteria for the recognition of certification schemes that demonstrate compliance with the EU framework.

“Finally, our priority has been to cut red tape. That's why we've made sure we have a certification framework with simple, clear rules, rather than a mountain of useless paperwork for farmers to fill in,” she concluded.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States

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