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.
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.