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Parliament calls for ‘negative emissions’

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called for the EU to be producing negative emissions – sucking more carbon dioxyde out of the atmosphere than it is putting in – soon after 2050.

The European Parliament’s Energy (ITRE) and Environment (ENVI) committees, on 7 December 2017, adopted a report on the draft Energy Union Governance Regulation, which sets out how the EU will implement and track progress towards its Paris Agreement climate commitments.  

The report contains several provisions relevant to forests, including that Member States’ 2050 climate strategies must contribute to the EU-wide goal of enhancing CO2 removals from sinks, enough to attain net zero emissions by 2050, and negative emissions soon after. It also calls for Member States’ 10-year climate plans to include trajectories for maintaining and enhancing carbon sinks.

The ITRE/ENVI report will now go to a full vote by the European Parliament (EP) plenary on 16 or 17 January 2018. The EP-approved report will then go into negotiations to decide the text of the final regulation.

Island nations and future generations will be hoping that that the net-zero and eventual negative emissions goals are not diluted on the draft regulation’s journey.