The European Parliament has passed a resolution on Sustainable Carbon Cycles with a vote of 323 to 257, and 59 abstentions, as reported by ESG Today on April 18. Sustainable Carbon Cycles is the European Commission’s action plan to develop sustainable solutions to increase carbon removals. In this resolution, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) recognized the potential for carbon removals to limit climate change while stressing the need for the European Union (EU) to prioritize swift and predictable emission reductions. They also warned of the risks of relying too much on future carbon removals to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and net-negative emissions after 2050.
The EU relies on removing carbon through forests, agriculture, and technological solutions to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. According to the recent resolution, technologies such as direct air capture that combine with permanent storage and are scientifically proven and environmentally safe can contribute to achieving EU climate neutrality. The parliament also noted the Commission’s proposal to establish a certification framework for carbon removals, which was adopted in December 2022. The framework sets out criteria for defining high-quality carbon removals and the process of monitoring, reporting, and verifying (MRV) the authenticity of these removals. The parliament stressed the need to adopt a new MRV framework to incentivize carbon removal. Furthermore, MEPs called on the Commission to establish a system to trace captured CO2, distinguishing between carbon capture on-site and from the atmosphere to avoid double counting.