Bellona welcomes the EU’s recognition of the importance of carbon dioxide removals in its recently drafted proposal for a Carbon Removal Certification Framework (CRCF). However, the initial draft of this proposal is not aligned with the physical reality of carbon removals.
Removing CO₂ from the atmosphere is resource-intensive and subject to uncertainties around total potential, net impact, timing of the climate benefit, and potential side-effects.
In other words, removing CO2 depends on many factors and they all need to be considered to determine the final climate impact of a given project. Therefore, it is fundamental that policy on CDR is grounded in honest and transparent scientific dialogue that respects the differences between CDR activities, including their different risks, such as risk of inaccurate quantification, risk of reversal (i.e., re-emission of stored carbon), and risk of unintended environmental consequences.
While the activities that can potentially result in carbon removal are wide-ranging, the underlying purpose of carbon dioxide removal is to physically decrease the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This must be the fundamental guiding principle used by the CRCF to identify and quantify removals. Bellona has three overarching recommendations to ensure that the CRCF is fit-for-purpose:
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THE CRCF IS NOT YET FIT-FOR-PURPOSE