The Carbon Credits Conundrum: why governments need to regulate carbon removal and voluntary markets
This briefing lays out the current political context of CDR, particularly related to its inclusion in voluntary carbon markets and the upcoming Carbon Removal Certification Mechanism. It also points to the potential risks of introducing removal credits into voluntary markets and treating them all as interchangeable. Finally, the briefing outlines ‘no-regret’ steps that can be taken to ensure the sound governance of CDR in the EU.
Figure 1. Historical greenhouse gas emissions (data from EEA) and the linear emission trajectory needed for EU Climate Law ambitions
Figure 2. The three sequential roles of carbon dioxide removal in mitigating catastrophic climate change (Stylized rendering; adapted from IPCC 2022)
Table 1. Emission reductions, avoidance, and removals are each distinct but vital parts of mitigating climate change