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 24 oct 2023 14:35 

Carbon Removals and Carbon Farming

Today, MEPs from the Environment Committee voted, with a strong majority, in favour of an EU Certification Framework for Carbon Removals and Carbon Farming, including carbon storage in products and the reduction of carbon and GHG emissions, but with a stick approach on co-benefits and sustainability requirements.

It was a key point for Copa and Cogeca that ENVI MEPs acknowledged that carbon farming is not just sequestration of carbon but also emissions’ reductions from soil, and enteric and manure fermentation.  Copa and Cogeca welcome this step in the right direction, which will enable more farmers to see the benefits of this system.

In general, the approved text looks at farms or forests as a whole unit, including activities linked to mitigation and adaptation that result in avoidances and reductions of emissions, reward additional environmental performances, and are fit to ensure the continuity of existing carbon farming schemes through a simplified process that does not generate unnecessary administrative burdens to farmers, foresters, and cooperatives.
However, Copa and Cogeca strongly regret the obligation to generate co-benefits in many items (e.g., biodiversity and maintenance and protection of ecosystems), and the sustainability criteria, which should have not been made mandatory for farmers and foresters to obtain carbon credits. This should have been promoted rather than prescriptive.

We also strongly regret that the Environment Committee decided to go beyond the original objectives of the Commission’s proposal to include rules relating to the use of certificates, with the potential linkages with Corporate GHG inventory reporting, emission trading systems (ETS) and a post-2030 target for carbon removals. The aim of the Certification Framework for Carbon Removals and Carbon Farming should not be to set up a framework for the use of certificates but one that enables quality certificates in the EU.  
Copa and Cogeca hope the upcoming Plenary retains this definition of carbon farming and improves the above-mentioned prescriptive and overreaching elements.


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