At the EAASI Summit in 2022, Simon Kay, Deputy Head of Unit at DG CLIMA of the European Commission, presented the first EU-wide voluntary framework to certify high-quality carbon removals reliably.
Since then, the European Association of Aerial Surveying Industries (EAASI) has been following the developments in this important measure. Aerial surveying can play a significant role in this process, as obtaining climate-relevant geodata will also enhance the quality of national greenhouse gas inventories and carbon removal monitoring activities.
An Expert Group on carbon removals was created in March 2023 to assist the European Commission’s work on the voluntary certification of carbon removals. Supported by this Group, the Commission will develop specialized certification methodologies aligned with the QU.A.L.ITY criteria for various carbon removal activities:
1. Quantification: Carbon removal activities need to be measured accurately and deliver unambiguous benefits for the climate;
2. Additionality: Carbon removal activities need to go beyond existing practices and what is required by law;
3. Long-term storage: Certificates are linked to the duration of carbon storage so as to ensure permanent storage;
4. Sustainability: Carbon removal activities must preserve or contribute to sustainability objectives such as climate change adaptation, circular economy, water and marine resources, and biodiversity.
The Expert Group has already held two meetings: a kick-off meeting in March 2023 and a carbon farming workshop in June.
On 25 and 26 October 2023, a dedicated Expert Group meeting will take place to share lessons learned from industrial carbon removal projects and review existing certification methodologies. The two-day meeting will cover BECCS, DACCS, long-lasting carbon storage products, and more. Valuable input gathered will help develop scoping papers, laying the groundwork for future methodologies. The link to follow the meeting online will be announced soon. Please read the agenda here
EAASI will closely follow this meeting as it holds significant relevance for the aerial surveying industry. With a focus on certification processes, including schemes, third-party verification, and registries, this meeting will play a key role in shaping the future of carbon removal activities.
EAASI recognizes the importance of ensuring transparency and accuracy in carbon removal monitoring, and this meeting will pave the way for harnessing the potential of aerial datasets in monitoring, reporting, and verifying the authenticity of the removals.
European Union context
To secure a sustainable future, the EU has committed to achieving climate neutrality by 2050. This ambitious goal necessitates substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, coupled with compensating for residual emissions through carbon removals. The process involves removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Earth's atmosphere through natural and technological solutions.
The proposed voluntary EU-wide framework for certifying carbon removals generated in Europe sets out rigorous criteria for defining high-quality carbon removals. This includes monitoring, reporting, and verifying the authenticity of the removals. The certification aims to encourage innovative carbon removal technologies and sustainable carbon farming solutions while combatting greenwashing.
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