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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Strengthening the NZIA’s fossil fuel producer responsibility

After decades of profit, the oil and gas industry should split the climate clean-up tab
Old petrol pump - should oil and gas producers pay for clean up?

In 2022, while oil and gas companies reported record profits, Europeans felt the heat of skyrocketing energy bills and their hottest-ever summer. Extensive wildfires, deadly heat waves and severe drought ravaged the continent, jeopardising Europe’s agricultural production and citizens’ physical health. Yet there is no framework for fossil fuel producer responsibility. Never has the widening gap between those profiting from and those paying for the climate catastrophe been so evident. Now, the European Union is taking steps to shift some responsibility for cleaning up the climate mess onto fossil fuel companies with the new proposed…

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The Swiss Climate Act Vote 2023 – policy at a crossroads

Swiss policy is like a crossroads in a forest

A major referendum is coming up in Switzerland with the potential to shape Swiss climate law and policy for the foreseeable future. On June 18, the Swiss will vote on a key piece of climate legislation: ​the Federal Act on climate action objectives, innovation and energy security, which would create a legal obligation to use carbon dioxide removal to reach the national climate goals by imposing a greenhouse gas neutrality target by 2050. This Climate Change and Innovation Act, as it is more informally called, is in response to a…

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Is the Green Claims proposal fulfilling its promise?

Strengthening climate-related claims: the missing piece in the EU legislative puzzle
Phone showing recycling symbol - green claims

Brussels, 23 March 2023. Yesterday, the European Commission published its legislative proposal on the substantiation and communication of explicit environmental claims (‘the Green Claims Directive’), aimed at reducing greenwashing. To make green claims (including climate-related claims) about the environmental footprint of their products, services, and operations, companies will need to prove them by submitting scientific evidence and reliable data to accredited verifiers. Once approved, companies will have to communicate their claims in a clear and transparent manner to consumers. To enforce that, EU Member States will have to set rules…

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The acid test: taking carbon dioxide removal to the community

Learnings from a community feedback session on ocean alkalinity enhancement
St Ives Bay

It’s not every day that a local community gathers to explore ocean alkalinity enhancement (OAE) and what it would mean if a project came to a bay near them. That’s why I went to observe a community comment session in Cornwall, south-western UK last week organised by Planetary, a Canadian company hoping to trial its OAE method in St Ives Bay this summer and discussing carbon removal in the community Over fifty local people came to hear Planetary’s vision, ask questions and provide feedback in what could be the start…

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Carbon removal is a perfect fit for the Green Deal Industrial Plan

But is it part of the plan?
A view of tall pine trees looking to the sky

To accelerate Europe’s net-zero industrial transformation, the European Commission has presented a Communication on “A Green Deal Industrial Plan for the Net-Zero Age”. The plan sets out four pillars that, together, intend to speed up the net-zero industrial transformation and secure opportunities for the European industry in a net-zero age. The new plan could provide much needed support to technology intensive carbon dioxide removal approaches. To deliver its goal of developing industrial manufacturing of “key technologies,” the upcoming Net-Zero Industry Act will aim to ensure a stable and simplified regulatory environment. To…

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Sizing up the gap – the first global assessment of the state of carbon dioxide removal

By Eli Mitchell-Larson and Sylvain Delerce

The world of carbon dioxide removal moves fast. New methods are constantly being piloted, companies formed, corporate purchases of removal credits announced, and government funding opportunities devised. The first-of-a-kind report, released today, The State of Carbon Dioxide Removal looks at the progress of carbon removal through many lenses, from the research and innovation to policy and public acceptance. It assembles data to estimate how much carbon is being removed from the atmosphere today and by which methods, and shows just how far we have to go to reach the volumes…

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On the ground at COP27: Carbon Gap’s key takeaways #3

Part Three: Carbon Removal in the Blue, Green, and Innovation Zones

To date, discussions on carbon dioxide removal (CDR) have been driven by high income countries with the financial and legislative muscle to get things off the ground. At COP27, Eli and Kayla noted a shift in discourse as CDR leaders from the Global South forcefully entered the fray. In the last instalment of their COP retrospect, they discuss this development and highlight key ideas from the civic zones. Among the most exciting Blue Zone events we attended was “Carbon Removal: Pioneers from the Global South” an official UN-endorsed Futures Lab…

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