Community engagement and carbon removal: four takeaways for policymakers


To meet the EU’s interim climate target, Europe must remove up to 400 Mt of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in 2040. Reaching this target requires growing the carbon removal sector, which includes land-based and industrial methods. Typically, the growth of this new sector is framed in terms of engineering, economic and policy challenges, but removing carbon at scale also presents complex social and ethical questions. As carbon removal methods mature, there is a risk that innovation will outpace public engagement and the development of an informed public opinion, which…

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Design elements for government procurement of carbon removal in Canada

Governments must help fund, build, and scale the CDR industry, provided they take the following design elements in consideration.

What do solar photovoltaics, light-emitting diode bulbs, and semiconductors have in common? They have all received government support worldwide to help create new market opportunities, which unearthed valuable learnings needed to scale over time. Such support can help innovations enter the marketplace through the power of the public purse, including mechanisms that position governments as major early buyers of nascent technologies. Demand-side government procurement programmes should be harnessed to help address the climate crisis and provide crucial support for a new frontier of solutions: removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the…

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Who Can Pay for Carbon Removal?

Our Corporate Ambition Gap Report updated

  In summary Last year, Carbon Gap’s report, Bridging The Ambition Gap, highlighted that industries with low emissions have the greatest capacity to pay the cost of their emissions, and use the funds to finance climate solutions such as carbon dioxide removal (CDR). Our updated analysis, incorporating 2022 data on the profits and emissions of leading global companies (1), reinforces last year’s findings. Approximately 90% of emissions originate from companies that generate only 25% of profits, highlighting a disparity in the ability of polluters to pay the cost of their…

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Mapping CDR funding – Where is carbon removal in Horizon Europe?

Diagram of the various funding programs across Horizon Europe

Europe will need carbon removal to reach net zero by 2050; the science clearly says so, yet there is currently limited funding for research and innovation to scale up these crucial technologies. To fund its net zero goals, the EU has developed a wide range of funding mechanisms, of which Horizon Europe is a central pillar, with €95.5 billion available for research in selected areas for 2021-2027. However, Horizon Europe is dedicated to funding the green transition as a whole, with only a part dedicated to carbon removal. So, we…

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Delivering on net zero will require a dedicated EU carbon removal strategy

Long-awaited consultation on Industrial Carbon Management is a starting point for development of dedicated carbon removal strategy in Europe

Carbon removal will be essential for the EU to reach net zero by mid-century. Yet the EU is failing to realise the potential of these technologies as key tools in the fight against global warming. To make good on the EU’s climate commitments, an ambitious strategy dedicated to promoting and regulating carbon removal technologies is a must. Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is the umbrella term for different technologies that remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store the removed carbon durably. Their crucial role in reaching EU and global climate targets…

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Making good on the “net” in net zero: the Net-Zero Industry Act must support carbon removal

Carbon Gap's views on the Net-Zero Industry Act
Climeworks DACCS plant in Switzerland

Carbon Gap welcomes the Commission’s proposal for a Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) and committed efforts to strengthen Europe’s net zero ecosystem. The NZIA represents significant advances for the sector, especially for the 8 strategic technologies that have been listed. As the baton passes to the European Parliament and Council, we encourage them to consider the role of carbon removal in the NZIA as a (strategic) net-zero technology, as outlined in the recommendations below.  1. Include carbon dioxide removal (CDR) to deliver climate neutrality   The Act risks missing a critical opportunity…

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The amended Nature Restoration Law

How amendments affect carbon removal on EU land
Farmland in need of nature restoration

Last week, the proposed EU Nature Restoration Law narrowly survived a vote to reject it. An amended EU Nature Restoration Law has now been agreed by the European Parliament, which will inform further negotiations with the European Council. The Nature Restoration Law is to biodiversity what the European Climate Law is to climate – it’s that big of a deal. By setting legally binding targets to restore degraded ecosystems, the law takes a holistic approach to mitigating Europe’s entwined climate, biodiversity loss, and land degradation crises. But these watered-down amendments…

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The European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) on net zero and why they matter

Emissions reporting, carbon removals and net zero
Green claims in a sustainable coffee cup

The European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) will have a significant effect on the EU’s net zero targets. The first set of ESRS are currently being developed as a delegated act to the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). They aim to set out cross-cutting standards for the disclosure of environmental, social, and governance information in companies’ annual reports. The first of the environmental standards, E1 Climate Change, includes specific requirements around greenhouse gas emissions, net zero targets, net zero claims and carbon removals.  The current draft marks a significant improvement in…

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Carbon removal in the 2040 targets: the key to getting them right

Carbon Gap’s response to the 2040 climate target consultation
Reaching the EU 2040 targets requires carbon removal

The EU Climate Law requires the European Commission to propose a 2040 climate target by the first half of 2024. In a recent public consultation, the Commission started gathering input from climate and sectoral experts, NGOs and the public to inform its decision process before presenting a concrete proposal. Carbon Gap calls upon the EU to support carbon removal in the 2040 targets.  The 2040 climate targets will be a crucial milestone on the road to climate neutrality to ensure that the EU is on track to achieving this 2050…

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Carbon markets under the Paris Agreement – getting the rules on removals right

UNFCC Paris Agreement voting procedure

The Paris Agreement has been built to shape climate action for the rest of the century, and the market mechanisms that underpin it will be used for decades to come. There are no broadly accepted international accounting rules for carbon removal methods. The decisions taken under Article 6.4 of the agreement, and the methodologies approved under it, are bound to have an outsized impact on voluntary and compliance carbon markets globally. It is crucial to create foundational rules on removals for the Paris Agreement carbon market mechanism and the time…

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