Certification mechanism to help guide the EU to climate neutrality

The European Union aims for a climate neutral continent by 2050. To enable this transition, there is a need for a certification mechanism to validate carbon removal solutions that offset unavoidable emissions. Ramboll is one of the key partners enabling this ambition.

Photo: John Dalrymple

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Xavier Le Den

Market Director
T: +32 497 89 83 58

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.

Ramboll as a consulting partner

Ramboll has partnered in a large cross-European collaboration to support the devising of an EU carbon removal certification mechanism. Ramboll experts in Denmark and Germany have outlined existing solutions on the market, seeking to map technological aspects such as removal potential, costs, permanance, and to identify any barriers such as additionality and trade-offs in value chain. With this they have been able to identify those solutions that have the greatest potential without excessive costs.

Essentially, Ramboll has assisted partners responsible for the development of the mechanism with deep sector knowledge and market insights to determine the removal solutions that will be incentivised by the certification mechanism.

Subject matter experts

Ramboll experts in Brussels have facilitated all stakeholder consultations, which has been an important element in ensuring a solution that meets stakeholder requirements and fulfils market needs.

The project started in December 2020 and will finalise in February 2022.

Experts from Ramboll Management Consulting have previously put scrutiny to an ambitious plan, namely the EU Taxonomy, assisted on the EU carbon border adjustment mechanism, and right now Ramboll is supporting the European Innovation Council in a large-scale decarbonisation work targeted small and medium-sized companies.

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