In April 2023, Climeworks published a statement calling for a clear distinction between emissions reductions and carbon dioxide removal - in climate pathways, target setting and industry standards. The reactions have been very affirmative and while Climeworks initiated the statement, it became clear that it addresses a topic relevant to the broader carbon removal ecosystem.
This is why Climeworks reached out to further carbon removal actors, including project developers and associations, to unite their voices and become part of this joint statement:
Reductions and removals have different roles to play
Separating emissions reductions and avoiding emissions from carbon removals is needed to align with scientific recommendations. This should be incorporated in climate targets, and climate policy and reflected via the establishment of different units/credit categories for (voluntary) carbon markets for effective climate action.
Limiting the moral hazard
It presents a simple way to mitigate the moral hazard coming with carbon dioxide removals, as it makes for greater clarity over the role, foreseen share, and timing of removals alongside accelerated emissions reduction.
Adding integrity to carbon markets
It adds further integrity to carbon markets and climate policy, as it allows for clarity and aligns with best practices concerning "net-zero", where carbon removal credits need to be singled out to counterbalance residual emissions.
It provides a framework wherein carbon removals can be deployed in a responsible and just manner, in addition, and complementary to vast and rapid emission reductions and avoidances.
A question of scale
CDR urgently needs a dedicated framework with opportunities to scale the entire sector, as well as guardrails against a deployment that is incompatible with global sustainability objectives. A dedicated CDR framework allows us to tackle these aspects in the most effective way.
In summary, it presents a scientifically sound framework to deliver on the temperature targets set within the Paris Climate Accord.
Access the statement as a PDF here.