Friday, July 19, 2024

‘Cepi calls for defined renewable carbon in carbon removal vote support’

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The European Parliament has given the green light to the European Union’s carbon removal certification framework. However, the Confederation of European Paper Industries (Cepi) is advocating for a clear definition of renewable carbon to fill in the gaps for a circular, eco-friendly economic model.

Currently in the development stage, this regulation is set to establish guiding principles for certifying processes that eliminate carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. This certification framework still requires further definition through the work of an expert group.

As per the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), carbon removals will play a crucial role in limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Although technological carbon removal techniques are viable for the long term, the natural function of forests in storing carbon should not be overlooked, especially when managed sustainably.

Cepi emphasizes that sustainable forestry is essential for climate action and biodiversity protection. While forest carbon sinks provide cost-effective carbon removals, the emphasis should remain on decreasing CO2 emissions across various sectors. Forest-based products, bioenergy with carbon capture, and biochar production are examples of utilizing carbon removals effectively.

To ensure the recognition of the benefits of biogenic carbon and prevent ‘greenwashing’, Cepi suggests implementing clear criteria in the certification methodologies for different removal methods. They propose the concept of ‘renewable carbon’, defined as a resource that can naturally replenish itself at a rate equal to or higher than its consumption.

A recent study commissioned by Cepi revealed that forests and forest-based products had a significant net impact on reducing carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in 2020. European forests could become even more crucial in combating climate change as the economy shifts away from fossil fuels.

Jori Ringman, director general of Cepi, stresses the need for regulations that promote renewable materials over fossil-based ones. In a related development, the Renewable Carbon Initiative is driving the transition towards renewable carbon from biomass sources and away from fossil-based materials, aiming to reduce carbon footprints substantially.

In parallel news, a preliminary report from Cepi highlighted a decline in European paper and board production in 2023 due to economic challenges and high energy costs. At the same time, data from the Renewable Carbon Initiative showed that products derived from fossil fuels have larger carbon footprints than previously estimated, emphasizing the urgency of transitioning to renewable carbon sources.

For more information and related stories, visit the links below:
– Report: The ultimate guide to global plastic sustainability regulation
– The Brief: Oxo-(bio)degradables: the who, what, and why of breaking down fossil-based plastics
– Sustainable Packaging Summit: How Kraft-Heinz uses collaboration to drive innovation
– The Brief: Using ocean-bound plastic in packaging – how, why and should we?

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