The bloc is looking for ways to reduce emissions or remove them from the atmosphere through carbon sequestration, as it aims to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Carbon farming could be a game-changer for European farmers and the climate. Through this concept, farmers use certain techniques to capture and store more carbon in their soil. Schemes to financially reward farmers for doing so are already being piloted in some European countries, some through non-governmental initiatives.
But environmental groups say creating a market-based trading system allowing farmers to sell carbon credits to companies will only relieve those companies from having to really cut their emissions. They also fear it could undermine broader climate efforts if polluting companies buy these credits to offset their emissions instead of taking action themselves.
Issues to be addressed include:
- What is the potential of carbon farming to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change? And what can it offer farmers and foresters?
- How can policymakers ensure that carbon offset credits do not undermine emissions reduction efforts?
- What are the challenges and potential pitfalls in designing a watertight certification mechanism for carbon removals?
- What should the EU do to ensure that there is a robust, reliable and certifiable system to measure carbon sequestration and credits? Should policy makers foresee rewarding co-benefits in carbon removal certification?
- What are the most common challenges to implementing carbon production systems? What are the best practices that farmers could learn from existing global carbon production projects?
While the European Commission is currently working on a legal proposal on how carbon credits can be certified, POLITICO will dig deeper into how carbon farming will actually work and contribute to Europe’s climate goals.
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