By Lejla Delalic
By 2050, the entire European Union will be climate neutral – that is the goal presented by the European Commission in November 2018. As with any ambitious plan, the devil is in the detail.
Therefore, Ramboll is part of a consortium supporting the European Commission’s DG CLIMA on devising a certification mechanism. The aim of this mechanism will be to set a regulatory framework for the certification of carbon removals. It will be based on robust and transparent carbon accounting to monitor and verify the authenticity of these removals.
Carbon removals, also known as negative emissions, include nature-based systems such as afforestation and soil carbon, and technology-based solutions, such as carbon capture and storage from direct air or bioenergy.
Xavier Le Den, Market Director in Ramboll Management Consulting, highlights the necessity to act now:
- This work is an important step in the movement towards climate neutrality. With the certification mechanism, it becomes possible to provide assurance in the carbon compensation investments as part of any neutrality and net zero strategy. At Ramboll, we aim to empower sustainable change, and I’m happy we can play a role on such a vital project.
Need for validation methods
When organisations and other entities wish to pursue climate neutrality or net zero goals, it is first and foremost necessary to reduce their own emissions. This is, however, rarely enough to achieve such goals, which is why compensation through carbon removal investments becomes a solution.
Currently, there are numerous projects available for investment. But the problem arises as there is no harmonized method to assess the validity of their claims, making neutrality a questionable condition to reach and document.
However, by the existence of such a mechanism, it will be possible to trust that certified investments will contribute with negative emissions to neutralise the carbon footprint. This will also facilitate the decision-making on what to invest and will incentivise the carbon removal market to offer more investment possibilities in short and long terms.