EU Steps Up Push to Remove Carbon From the Atmosphere
(Bloomberg) -- The European Union wants to use technology to remove five million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually by 2030, as part of its goal to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.
The target comes as part of the bloc’s plans to establish more sustainable “carbon cycles,” according to the draft document that is still subject to change. The EU wants to see far less reliance on the element and more recycling of it.
“To scale up carbon farming and industrial solutions removing carbon from the atmosphere, the European Commission is working towards a legislative proposal in 2022 for an EU regulatory framework for the accounting and certification of carbon removal,” the document said. The proposal is scheduled to be published Dec. 14.
Five million tons are roughly equivalent to Uganda’s carbon emissions last year, according to the Global Carbon Atlas. It’s also about 12% of emissions trapped by all commercial carbon capture plants operating in the world today, figures from the Global CCS Institute show.
While that’s a relatively small proportion of the bloc’s total emissions -- about 3.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent a year -- the push to use technology could eventually be a key tool in the fight against climate change, should it be shown to be possible at scale. The EU wants to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels on the path to being climate neutral by 2050.
Separately, the bloc has a $1 billion plan with Bill Gates to help fund moonshot technologies like carbon capture and storage, which is seen as a way to help reduce emissions from carbon-intensive industries. The EU also announced last week that it is investing more than 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) into seven large-scale projects to help decarbonize the economy through its Innovation Fund.
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