Fortum welcomes the European Commission´s proposal COM(2022) 672 final for establishing a Union certification framework for carbon removals. Incentivising carbon removals and harmonising the methodology is essential to reach the EU climate objectives and to increase the credibility of carbon removals.
Equally, Fortum wants to emphasise that the framework should not aim for similar permanence with carbon storage in products, as is required from geological storage. Especially concerning industrial removals from point sources, carbon capture and utilization (CCU) is a rising solution, and the new framework should support different applications, which capture the carbon otherwise emitted, and bind it to products, thus replacing a fossil carbon source.
CCU can also be a future solution to achieve EU’s recycling targets, when applied in Waste-to-Energy or hazardous waste incineration plants, and recycling the carbon fraction of waste origin, captured from the flue gases, via manufacturing new products. Carbon removals framework should recognise all industrial removals, which ultimately lead to less CO2 in the atmosphere (fuel production excluded as the whole purpose of it is to combust the fuel and therefore emit CO2 into the atmosphere). Narrowing the focus to fixed lifespan of the raw material or product the carbon is stored to, the framework would hinder the development and investments to new carbon removal and recycling technologies.
In addition, the framework should establish clear calculation and verification rules for removals of carbon from mixed fuel sources, such Waste-to-Energy plants or other combustions plants using both fossil and biogenic fuels.
Read detailed comments on the proposal from Fortum's whole response document (pdf).
Every year, Europeans generate nearly 100 million tonnes of unrecycled waste that is turned into energy. Incineration is an important part of the current waste management system. We at Fortum believe that all carbon belongs in circulation. This means that also emissions are turned into new raw materials. To do this at scale, we need to rethink CO2 in recycling.
According to our estimate, capturing carbon from a Waste-to-Energy plant and utilising the waste-derived carbon to produce hydrocarbons, such as plastics, could help to improve the recycling rate of plastic packaging significantly. Simultaneously, 90% of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere can be captured and absorbed into products.
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tatu [dot] hocksell [at] fortum [dot] com
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janne [dot] koivisto [at] fortum [dot] com