The talks between EU governments and the European Parliament on the higher 2030 climate target – ongoing (the Portuguese presidency aims to wrap them up)
Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) refers to removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and storing them permanently on land, underground or in the oceans. It could be based on natural processes such as forests and land that act as “carbon sinks” (so-called CDR ‘practices’) or a variety of technology solutions.
A word of caution; certain industry actors present carbon capture and storage and utilization technologies as CDR. They can only be considered CDR if they meet the definition of removing carbon from the air, storing it permanently – while using a broad life-cycle assessment.
CDR is quickly becoming the new black in the EU climate debate. It will be necessary over the course of this century (the IPCC 1.5°C Special Report makes that clear), but we must be careful not to overhype it. A great deal of scepticism and caution is in order.
CDR can play a role in the EU climate framework – but only if it is done right.
Carbon Market Watch is a partner in the NEGEM project, which analyses the potential, effectiveness and impacts of carbon removals. NEGEM provides decision-makers with policy recommendations to ensure responsible deployment of these technologies.
The four principles that define Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)
1. Carbon dioxide is physically removed from the atmosphere.
2. The removed carbon dioxide is stored out of the atmosphere in a manner intended to be permanent.
3. Upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions – produced in the removal and storing process – are comprehensively estimated and included in the emission balance.
4. The total quantity of the removed and permanently stored atmospheric carbon dioxide is greater than the total quantity of emitted carbon dioxide.
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