Assessing the EU Framework for Carbon Removal Certification from a climate-friendly soil management perspective

QU.A.L.ITY soil carbon removals?

  • Hugh McDonald
  • Dr. Ralph Bodle
  • May Hobeika
  • Aaron Scheid
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This brief critically assesses the Commission’s 2022 proposal for Framework for Carbon Re-movals Certification as it applies to climate-friendly soil management. We introduce the pro-posal and then evaluate how its minimum certification criteria – the so-called QU.A.L.ITY (quan-tification, additionality, long-term storage, and sustainability) criteria – would apply to climate-friendly soil management activities. We identify several challenges for soil management activi-ties to achieve these criteria and problems with the current proposal. Based on this analysis, we make specific recommendations for strengthening requirements that soil-related removal activities should fulfil. We conclude that challenges inherent to climate-friendly soil manage-ment activities and weaknesses in the proposal’s approach mean that carbon removal certifi-cates generated by those activities should not be permitted to be used as offsets. In particular, we identify problems with the proposal´s approach to additionality and quantification, and a lack of clarity and/or ambition related to long-term storage and sustainability. Recommendations throughout aim to ensure that the Framework supports the overarching objective of transitioning the EU´s land use and agriculture sectors to sustainability.