NEGEM Final Event Summary

The final event of NEGEM project Visions and Pathways for Carbon Dioxide Removal in the EU took place at the Square Brussels Convention Centre on 18 April 2024. The overarching aim of this event was to present the  results of NEGEM and to examine the realistic potential and responsible deployment of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technologies and practices. The morning session featured keynote speeches from science and policy experts who discussed CDR’s integration into EU climate targets and strategies. Scientists from both NEGEM consortium and the sister projects OCEANNETs and LANDMARC, presented key findings on challenges to scaling CDR, environmental assessments, case studies, social acceptance, deployment scenarios, and Member States CDR portfolios.Following a networking lunch, the policy session delved into the commercialization of CDR and the formulation of policies and governance structures to support its responsible deployment in alignment with EU 2040 climate targets.

This sessions explored the critical role of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) in achieving our ambitious climate goals. Key points emphasized the necessity of CDR for reaching net-zero, offsetting unavoidable emissions, and offering flexibility to our climate strategies, with some methods providing additional environmental benefits. The EU is committed to creating an enabling policy framework for widespread CDR deployment. However, all CDR methods have environmental trade-offs, highlighting the need for a diverse portfolio. Ocean alkalinity enhancement shows promise, but policy uncertainties around lime availability, infrastructure, and mining licenses remain. LANDMARC presented their work combining earth observation and case studies to assess land-based CDR, while public surveys revealed a need to address social acceptance.


Why CDR? Steve Smith, Oxford Net Zero SlidesVideo

EU 2040 targets and the role of CDR Fabien Ramos, EC DG CLIMA SlidesVideo

NEGEM results on environmental impacts of CDR methods  Constanze Werner, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research SlidesVideo

OceanNETS results on ocean-based CDR – David Keller, GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung SlidesVideo

Landmarc results from earth observations, carbon farming case studies – Eise Spijker, JIN Climate and Sustainability SlidesVideo

Social license to operate for CDR – David Reiner, Cambridge UniversityGoda Perlaviciute, University of Groningen SlidesVideo

This session about scenario modelling emphasized the critical role of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) in achieving carbon neutrality. While existing policies could drive a peak in fossil fuel demand, achieving net-zero by 2050 requires a substantial decline in emissions this decade, with proven technologies covering most reductions. CDR becomes essential to offsetting residual emissions, and the more we delay mitigation actions, the higher the CDR need will be. A diverse CDR portfolio is essential. In NEGEM 1.5 scenarios, BECCS is likely to play a dominant role initially, with DACCS scaling up significantly in later decades. Multi-dimensional analysis highlights the impact of CDR choices on the electricity grid, and the socio-economic trade-offs between different CDR strategies.


Keynote speech: The role of negative emissions in clean energy transitions Ilkka Hannula, IEA SlidesVideo

NEGEM 1.5°C mitigation scenario results for Europe Tiina KoljonenVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland SlidesVideo

Multi-dimensional analysis of negative emission technologies and practices  Mai BuiImperial College London SlidesVideo

This session on policies and governance emphasized the need for a clear definition of CDR and separate targets for emission reductions, permanent CDR, and land-based solutions. CDR’s role should be supplementary to rapid emissions cuts, with policies reflecting a ‘supply-driven’ approach focused on demonstrable removals. Crucially, policies should accurately account for carbon removal timescales, adopt a holistic Earth system perspective, and integrate climate goals with biosphere stewardship. For ocean-based CDR, a comprehensive governance framework is needed, drawing on existing principles and prioritizing transparency. This should consider cumulative impacts, address potential trade-offs, and potentially involve new or expanded policy structures.

Key policy messages from the three Horizon 2020 projects

NEGEM: Climate policy frameworks for CDR – Allanah Paul, Bellona Europa and Fabiola de Simone, Carbon Market Watch SlidesVideo

LANDMARC: Observations on carbon farming, MRV and financeEise Spijker, JIN Climate & Sustainability SlidesVideo

OCEANNETS: Policy issues of ocean-based CDR methods – Wilfried Rickels, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Barbara Neumann, Research Institute for Sustainability Helmholtz Centre Potsdam Slides RickelsSlides NeumannVideo

This session highlighted the urgent need to scale up CDR to achieve carbon neutrality, emphasizing the importance of diverse CDR methods and the potential for shifting mitigation costs upstream to the fossil fuel industry. Market mechanisms and principles like Extended Producer Responsibility were introduced and discussed. Industry speakers emphasized the need for both demand incentives and enforcement mechanisms to drive the market. They noted that while the technologies for carbon capture exists, developing sustainable business models remains a challenge, requiring long-term policy certainty and customers willing to pay for the full value chain.


Results from NEGEM studies on market mechanisms – Myles AllenOxford University SlidesVideo

Comments and facilitated discussions with NEGEM industrial partners  Fabien Levihn, Stockholm ExergiKirsi Tiusanen ST1; Matthew Borghi, Drax;   Slides ST1Slides DraxVideo

Panel discussionHow to formulate policies and governance structures to support responsible deployment of CDR for the EU 2040 climate targets? Moderated by Mark Preston Aragonès – Bellona Europa

The final panel discussion focused on the challenges of governing the agricultural sector and the need for governance beyond individual farmers, encompassing the entire food value chain to incentivize emission reductions and carbon removals. Other aspects raised were the importance of separate targets for reductions, sequestration, and permanent removals to avoid diluting mitigation efforts and the challenges of scaling removals equitably and sustainably.


  • Ulriikka Aarnio, CAN-Europe  
  • Duncan McLaren, UCLA  
  • Valeria Forlin, EC DG Clima 
  • David Reiner, University of Cambridge


Full report here

Find some snapshots of the event in the gallery below.

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