October 06, 2023

September Update




Welcome to Carbon Gap’s inaugural Monthly Update – from now onwards, we’ll be sending you all a monthly summary of what we’ve been up to during the past month, along with a run-down of a few of the key developments in the CDR ecosystem, and a preview of what’s coming up over the next few weeks.

If you were forwarded our newsletter or sent the link to this page and you would like to sign up to receive them yourself, or if you have any questions or comments, please email James. We’ll be experimenting with how best to present the newsletter over the coming months, so we would very much appreciate any feedback on how to ensure that it provides as much value as possible.

Engagement and impact 

Rodica and Matteo met with the ENVI Committee’s Green Claims rapporteur and their team to convey our main priorities on the file. They not only confirmed their alignment with our positions, but also complimented our science-led approach!

Devina was engaged by the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) team to ask for our input on the potential future integration of GGR (Greenhouse Gas Removal – a more commonly used term in the UK than CDR) into the UK ETS in future, as well as to gauge our availability for ongoing input and consultation over the coming months.

Rodica spoke on a panel on “Mineralisation: the Missing Link of EU Carbon removal Policy” hosted in the European Parliament by MEP Peter Liese (EPP, DE).

Rodica and Agnese met with the Climate Attaché of the Austrian Permanent Representation to the EU to discuss the Carbon Removal Certification Framework (CRCF) ahead of the Environment Council Working Party on the subject.

Agnese and Alexis attended the event “Clean Tech and climate neutral industry made in Europe” where they met various stakeholders to discuss CDR policy in the EU.

Together with CATF and Bellona, Rodica and Verena submitted a Briefing Note to support MEPs in finalising the compromise amendments on the CRCF.

Rodica met with the assistant to the Renew Shadow Rapporteur in the ENVI Committee to provide further support on the CRCF.

We submitted a joint advocacy letter, in collaboration with NEP (the Negative Emissions Platform), with 7 co-signatories, advocating for the inclusion of CDR as a key net-zero technology within the EU Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA).

Sylvain met with SGPE (the First Ministers for France’s ecological transition) to discuss the case for scaling up CDR development and deployment in France.

Matteo and Eloisa met with the Industry Attaché from the Danish Permanent Representation to the EU to discuss the NZIA and present Carbon Gap’s recommendations.

Sylvain met with a Minister from the French Cabinet of Industry to discuss the integration of CDR into the French green industry bill.

Sylvain met with MP Pascale Boyer and MP Lysianne Métayer to prepare the conversation on the three main climate and energy bills to be passed before the end of the year.

Eli, Rodica and Matteo met with Standards ECOS to exchange views on the Green Claims file and net zero claims/targets.

Matteo and Valter met with a Commission (DG CLIMA) representative to discuss NZIA and the forthcoming Industrial Carbon Management Strategy.

Valter and Alexis met with Startup Basecamp to discuss approaches to mapping funding for CDR projects, as one of many potential updates to the Policy Tracker under ‘version 2.0’.

More than 12 stakeholder interviews were conducted on our behalf in France and Norway to capture their perceptions on CDR, as part of the Country Reports project.

Tim, Phill, and Sylvain provided the Grantham Foundation with a detailed update on the progress of the Country Reports project.

Sylvain was interviewed by l’Express as a follow-up on the open letter published in July.

Events and publications 

We published a white paper focused on mitigation deterrence, entitled “How to avoid carbon removal delaying emission reductions”, making a case that the phenomenon exists, that it is not well understood, and that it requires engagement by policymakers in order to minimize the risks associated with it

  • The main takeaways of this paper are that (i) mitigation deterrence poses a real risk of delaying net zero and (ii) that it can be addressed
  • The authors (lead authors: Eli, Sylvain, and Robert) put forward 12 policy propositions to take the conversation to a practical level

We published a white paper focused on Article 18 within the NZIA (and the concept of producer responsibility) in collaboration with Carbon Balance, entitled “Who Pays for Net Zero? Holding the oil and gas sector accountable in the EU’s Net Zero Industry Act

Eli, Kayla, Lydia, Robert, and Sylvain hosted a closed-door roundtable discussion with the experts listed below to discuss the mitigation deterrence white paper and to gather feedback on its core arguments ahead of publication:

  • Ulriikka Aarnio – Senior Policy Officer, CAN Europe
  • Duncan McLaren – Professor, Lancaster University
  • Wijnand Stoefs – Policy lead on carbon removals, Carbon Market Watch
  • Dr Nils Markusson – Social Scientist, Lancaster University
  • Mark Preston Aragonès – Policy Manager, Bellona Europa
  • Codie Rossi – Policy Associate (Carbon Capture), Clean Air Task Force
  • Luciana Miu – Head of Clean Economy, Energy Policy Group
  • Matthias Honegger – Senior Research, Perspectives Climate Group

We submitted a response to the open public consultation on the forthcoming Commission Industrial Carbon Management Strategy.

We also responded to the open public consultation on the forthcoming French CCUS strategy.

We hosted a webinar, moderated by Fiona Harvey (Environment Editor at the Guardian) and attended by the experts listed below, to launch the mitigation deterrence white paper to the public:

  • Joeri Rogelj – Director of Research, Grantham Insitute
  • Kaisa Kosonen – Senior Policy Advisor, Greenpeace International
  • Martin Jiskra – Climate Policy Officer, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment

We provided an overview of the Policy Tracker, and proposed potential ideas for future development to gather feedback, in a deep-dive session for the Innovation Hub (hosted by Breakthrough Energy Foundation).

We added new posts to our blog:

Policy Tracker 

We published a new policy entry this month, focused on the London Protocol.

We also published a number of new country entries:

Beyond the above, we also published an entry on Horizon Europe.

CDR news bulletin

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivered her State of the Union Address on 13th September. While the address featured numerous references to climate change and to the European Green Deal, as well as to specific climate solutions such as clean hydrogen, it featured no explicit mention of CDR.

The Climate Overshoot Commission released a new report, entitled “Reducing the Risks of Climate Overshoot”, in which it highlighted the urgent need to develop and deploy CDR, while also proposing a moratorium on the deployment of solar radiation management.

Boston Consulting Group released an article entitled “Climate Needs and Market Demand Drive Future for Durable CDR” (and a full report entitled “The Time for Carbon Removal Has Come”), in which it forecasts the estimated market opportunity associated with high-durability CDR methods such as DACCS (Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage), BiCRS (Biomass with Carbon Removal and Storage), Enhanced Weathering, and Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement, doing so based on stated buyer preferences and expected policy developments, rather than stated climate targets (such as those from the IPCC and IEA).

The Carbon Dioxide Removal Research and Development Act of 2023 has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and in the U.S. House of Representatives, proposing over $12bn in funding over ten years to support CDR R&D across a wide range of methodologies (as funding would be provided to nine government agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support ocean-based methodologies, and the Federal Highway Administration to develop cement- and concrete-focused methodologies, by way of two examples).

On the horizon

Upcoming Policy Tracker entries include:

  • Policies
    • Just Transition Mechanism
    • Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T)
    • Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E)
  • Countries
    • Belgium
    • Iceland
    • The Netherlands
    • Portugal

We are beginning work on a year-long comparative analysis initiative within the Policy Tracker, comparing the CDR-relevant policy environment in the US vs. the environment in the EU.

We are planning to host a media briefing in France, with the primary objective of improving media coverage of CDR. Sylvain will be accompanied by a climate scientist and Benjamin Tincq to run an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session with a panel of prominent journalists.

We are planning to host a workshop with member state climate attachés and national experts, in collaboration with CATF and Bellona, aiming to inform their position on the CRCF file in preparation for trilogue negotiations with the Commission and the European Parliament.

Members of our team will feature in a small-group discussion on EU Policy as part of Rethinking Removals’ ‘Bright Sparks’ project.

What does it all meme?