As climate change accelerates and its impacts strengthen, actions within all sectors need to be fast tracked. This proposal supplements our former proposal regarding the development of carbon sinks, in which we have already noted: “Sufficiently strong market-based incentives are not in place to attract the development of new carbon sinks and material substitutions. In order to achieve the 1.5-degree target, the EU needs to implement a comprehensive and systemic climate solution that also includes carbon sinks and material substitutions.”
We propose the development of the national incentive system for verified carbon sinks and storages. Finland should influence EU to direct its regulations to improve carbon sinks and to bring them as a part of the systemic solution. The incentives should be based on the cost efficiency of carbon sinks including needed measurement and verifications and carbon storage volumes.
The systemic solution should create a level playing field for various carbon storage solutions. As a pioneer, Finland could get competitive advantages, improve profitablity and create new jobs for carbon sink and storage area and their measurements and verifications. The system should support solutions with different maturity.
The largest known potentials for carbon sinks are soil, geological storages, CO2 in construction materials, minerals, wood-based products and biocarbon.
As an example, the additional potential of the soil as a carbon sink is significant and is currently underutilized. The carbon sink potential of soil is greater than the carbon sink above the ground and as climate change accelerates, this potential should be utilized immediately. Climate mitigation is also the best way to increase revenues for agriculture and forestry. The EU lacks accurate and acceptable methods for measurement and there are no incentives to improve carbon sinks within agriculture. Incentives should be based on the amount of carbon accumulated in the soil and the positive changes in it. Similar examples of underutilized potentials are also found from other sectors.
The proposal was initiated by a group of CLC members developing carbon sinks in agriculture: Antti Herlin, Matti Rihko, Kalervo Väänänen, Mari Pantsar and Jouni Keronen.