European Carbon Certification must be demanding… and appealing

2 December 2022 - Foreword of the week - By : Claudine FOUCHEROT

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.


Carbon certification systems have multiplied in recent years to answer this question. The problem is that their requirements are heterogeneous, to say the least. This is why the European Commission has just proposed a new regulation to create a common carbon certification “framework” at the European level. This might provide clarity for funders, farmers and forest owners.


This Commission proposal is therefore excellent news but, as the analysis we have made of it in this newsletter shows, better can sometimes be the enemy of good. The impossibility of valuing agricultural emission reductions in addition to carbon storage, or an overly complex way to ensure the long-term storage of carbon, may put off actors in the field. If the future European carbon certification framework is not sufficiently attractive, it will miss its objective. The ball is now in the court of the Council and the European Parliament.


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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
    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?

  • 07/08/2022 Op-ed
    Op-ed | Payment for carbon farming: we need an ambitious and pragmatic European certification

    The European Commission will propose a `carbon certification’ by the end of the year as a first step towards remunerating farmers and foresters who contribute to carbon farming. This certification project raises debates and concerns. For Adeline FAVREL of I4CE, the EU can respond and develop an ambitious certification by relying on the experience of the Member States in this field.

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