CIDSE, together with over 200 civil society organisations led by the coalition campaign Real Zero Europe, slams the European Commission’s leaked proposal for EU carbon removal, stating it is “full of red flags.”
The criticism has come just days ahead of the Commission’s expected legislative proposal for a new Carbon Removals Certification Framework, which outlines the EU’s plans for approving new carbon removal (CDR) offsets in Europe. It also follows backlash at COP27 where EU officials were accused of CDR “accounting tricks.”
The proposal has sounded alarms among climate justice and environment campaigners, food and farm movements, development and faith-based groups, and experts across Europe and beyond. Over 200 organisations, including CIDSE, have signed Real Zero Europe’s statement, calling for the EU to “deliver real, deep, emissions cuts now,” instead of generating false confidence in unproven future CDR. They argue the proposal will delay real action and cause governments to miss the rapidly-closing window to keep global temperatures below 1.5 degrees of warming by locking in fossil fuels for decades to come.
Earlier this month the EU faced criticism at the COP27 climate talks for “accounting tricks,” using updated land-based CDR estimates to claim that the bloc had raised its emissions reduction target since COP26.
The proposal promotes fossil-prolonging technofixes such as Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) and Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS), and a controversial initiative called “carbon farming.” Campaigners say there is a very real danger that the EU is shifting the focus away from the essential work of phasing out fossil fuels, instead heading towards speculative technologies and impermanent land sequestration.
After COP27 — where the presence of lobbyists from the fossil fuel industry reached a new peak, watering down the conference’s outcomes — campaigners have warned that fossil fuel companies and big agriculture have had a significantly harmful influence on the Commission’s proposal.
-Real Zero Europe analysis (English | German | French | Italian | Spanish)
-Real Zero Europe is the initiative of a coalition of civil society organisations aiming to expose the corporate greenwash of ‘net zero’ in Europe, resist false solutions, and push for real solutions, real emissions reductions, and Real Zero in Europe.
CIDSE contact: Vincent Dauby, Agroecology and Food Sovereignty Officer (dauby(at)cidse.org)
Cover photo: Action at COP27 – Credit: Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)