Brussels—The European Commission today delivered a proposal for a new legislative framework to certify carbon removal offsets.
Members of Real Zero Europe, a coalition campaign that together with over 200 European and international organisations, issued a statement on Monday highlighting the danger of the EU net zero strategy’s reliance on carbon offsets, responded:
Lucy Cadena, coordinator of the Real Zero Europe campaign, said: “Instead of tackling climate breakdown head on, the Commission’s proposal could jeopardise our chances of keeping below 1.5 degrees of warming. They claimed that this framework would regulate removals to avoid greenwash — yet it opens up space for more fossil fuel prolonging technologies like carbon dioxide removal and carbon capture and storage. Pushed by big polluters, this risks propelling the planet past a point of no return.”
“As expected, the Commission’s proposal on carbon farming is a gift to agrochemical, food and drink and fossil fuel corporations alike — creating a broad all-encompassing framework for carbon offsets from land,” said Shefali Sharma, Director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s European Office. “We saw unprecedented wildfires in Europe this past summer that call into question the entire premise that such carbon credits could ever be worth the paper they were written on. The Commission expects an opaque undemocratic expert group to resolve these outstanding critical issues of reversibility, permanence and genuine climate ambition. But this just serves to further weaken confidence in the Commission’s commitment to its own European Green Deal.”
Lili Fuhr, Deputy Director of the Climate & Energy Program at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), said: "The European Commission’s proposal to certify carbon removals offsets goes against what science tells us is necessary and possible to limit warming to 1.5°C. By betting on fossil fuel prolonging technologies like carbon capture and storage, speculative carbon dioxide removals, and land offsets, this proposal undermines the EU’s own commitment to the European Green Deal. The only certain path to avoid temperature overshoot and irreversible impacts is a rapid fossil phase-out and a fast, just, and equitable energy transition. We need the EU to back real climate solutions."
Notes for editors:
- On Monday, Real Zero Europe released a public statement signed by over 200 organisations, condemning the Commission’s proposal.
- On the same day, IATP released a report that revealed the influence of big corporations on the Commission’s carbon removals proposal.
- A quote sheet from Monday’s press release is available here.
For further comments and information and to be connected to one of our spokespeople, please contact:
- Lucy Hall, Press Officer at Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO): lucy(at)corporateeurope.org
- Rossella Recupero, Communications Associate at the Center for International Environmental Law: rrecupero(at)ciel.org
Download the press release.