Several environmental groups have issued a joint appeal, asking the European Union to drop carbon removal methods from its climate plans.
The groups argued that some of the plans rely on untested technology while others may not absorb as many greenhouse gas emissions as claimed.
According to reports, the EU’s executive Commission has proposed creating a system for certifying so-called offsets — carbon absorbed through nature or with technological means — which could then be bought by polluters to reduce their emissions balance.
However, some 170 groups including Friends of the Earth, Corporate Accountability and the Center for International Environmental Law argue that plans to use fields, forests or machines for future large-scale removal of carbon from the atmosphere are a “ greenwashing fantasy.”
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Instead, the groups have called for the Commission to commit to real, or gross, cuts in emissions, instead of net cuts that many countries and companies are currently touting in their climate plans. The 27-nation EU aims to achieve ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050.
According to scientists, emissions of planet-heating gases caused by human activity, such as burning fossil fuels, need to be halved by 2030 and end completely by mid-century to keep alive the Paris climate accord’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit).
Story was adapted from AP.