Certification framework: the devil is in the details

15 March 2024 - Foreword of the week - By : Julia GRIMAULT

A few days after the conclusion of negotiations on the European Union’s carbon removals certification Framework (CRCF), I4CE helped organise the European Carbon Farming Summit in Valencia, as part of the CREDIBLE project. The high level of stakeholder participation at the summit testifies to the expectations that this new tool will contribute to a better economic valuation of carbon farming practices.


The summit raised high hopes for improving and harmonising carbon measurement to certify projects, in particular through remote sensing, in a sector where there is a great deal of uncertainty. While it is vital to improve measurement and monitoring, uncertainty must not be allowed to justify inaction, and the key is to find the right balance between cost and accuracy.


The Label Bas-Carbone (French low carbon standard) is an example of this, and I4CE is continuing its work on the subject via the INFORMA project. The relationship between the CRCF and existing standards was also discussed at length, in a session co-hosted by I4CE: the creation of a European framework and the harmonisation of quality criteria were widely welcomed, but how can visibility and guarantees be given to those already involved in an existing standard?


The stakeholders also agree on the need to mobilise both public and private funding, and stress the key role of the downstream agricultural and forestry sectors. However, this funding can only be released under certain conditions: trust in the quality of the projects and clarification of the claims. This last point is currently blocking a great deal of private funding in France. Finally, all the options concerning the use of the certificates remain open: voluntary offsetting, public funds, a link with a future European Trading Scheme for Agriculture etc. For example, should the same level of windfall effect be tolerated for all uses of the certificates? More broadly, this raises the question of the place we want to give to certification tools within the various agricultural and forestry public policies. This will be on I4CE‘s agenda and for future European meetings!


Read the newsletter

To learn more
  • 03/24/2023 Foreword of the week
    International Day of Forests: carbon certification, adaptation and carbon sink

    This week, for the International Day of Forests, I4CE offers you an overview of the forestry issues that are being debated in France and in Brussels. In our newsletter, you will discover a new blog post by Julia Grimault on European carbon certification and our latest analyses on the adaptation of French forests to climate change, the French carbon sink and the wood industry. 

  • 03/21/2023 Op-ed
    European Carbon Certification: the unlikely alliance

    The future European carbon certification framework is under intense debate. The first meeting of the expert group in charge of supporting the Commission has raised criticisms on the composition and mandate of this group, and the discussions have taken an unexpected turn by achieving the feat of bringing NGOs and CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) industrialists to an agreement against natural carbon sinks, those of our forests or our agricultural soils. Where does this unlikely alliance come from?

  • 12/02/2022 Foreword of the week
    European Carbon Certification must be demanding… and appealing

    How can we differentiate between projects that really enable carbon to be stored and those that only claim to do so? This is a complicated question when dealing with projects in agriculture and forestry, where quantifying carbon storage is complex, and where other environmental challenges, like the preservation of biodiversity, must also be taken into account. A complicated question, therefore, but one that needs an answer! Private actors and public authorities want to ensure that the agricultural and forestry projects financed in the name of the climate have a real environmental benefit.

See all publications
Press contact Amélie FRITZ Head of Communication and press relations Email
Subscribe to our mailing list :
I register !
Subscribe to our newsletter
Once a week, receive all the information on climate economics
I register !