Not long ago it was difficult to find any information about the carbon removal ecosystem in Europe. Beyond academic papers, and a researcher or two at larger environmental non-profits, CDR policy was not an area with a mature ecosystem.
The situation is much different today. Not only is the EU considering ways to incorporate removals into their existing cap-and-trade scheme, but there are non-profits, carbon marketplaces, startups, and a new trade group offering sophisticated information and analysis of the rapidly developing CDR policy landscape in Europe.
One of them is Carbon Gap they describe themselves as “a science-based and philanthropy-funded expert non-profit" NGO working to bring just and equitable carbon removal policies to Europe through informed scientific research. Launched two years ago, the organisation keeps the carbon removal ecosystem informed through its Policy Tracker and regularly publishes articles.” Their most recent piece released last week approaches the thorny topic of avoiding emissions deterrence.
Their senior researcher is Kayla Cohen, whose work focuses on the developing soil carbon policies in Europe and climate justice issues.
Another organization that continues to provide high-level insight in Europe is Carbonfuture, a marketplace for ‘durable’ carbon credits. They claim over 40% of the market for durable carbon removal this year. And luckily for the public they also continue to publish information on the CDR market, including work on the topic of creating a trusted and inclusive MRV system, which we delved into on this show just a few weeks ago. The author of much of this work is their Senior Policy Advisor Sebastian Manhart.
The EU is poised to be a world leader in CDR, as it has been with climate policy. It features ambitious climate targets, robust academic research in the field, a talented labor pool, and a sophisticated non-profit sector taking on the challenge. But it also faces many of the headwinds found elsewhere against CDR such as high-costs, ambivalence from some of the public and existing environmental sector, fear of moral hazard, and broader macro-economic challenges threatening investment into newer climate tech.
On this episode Kayla and Sebastian join to talk about the current situation in Europe, the developments they’d like to see, and where they predict policy will be in 2030 and beyond.
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