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The EU is formalizing rules for taking CO2 out of the atmosphere

An industrial facility sits in front of a grassy hill.
The Orca carbon removal and storage facility operated by Climeworks in Hellisheidi, Iceland. | Image: Arnaldur Halldorsson / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The EU took a significant step toward legitimizing technologies that suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by agreeing to set up a certification process.

The European Council and European Parliament reached a provisional agreement today to create the first-of-its-kind certification framework for carbon removal technologies. The new climate tech has yet to prove itself at scale, but the EU is already folding it into its plan to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Net zero implies that the bloc would resort to capturing any remaining CO2 emissions that it hasn’t been able to prevent, either by harnessing the natural ability of plants to absorb carbon dioxide or by building technologies that filter CO2 out of the air or s…

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