The European Union has drafted plans to build up forests, grasslands and other natural “carbon sinks” that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to help curb climate change, according to a draft document seen by Reuters on Tuesday. Carbon sinks have gained in importance as countries strive to reach “net zero” emissions by 2050, the goal scientists say the world must meet to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Net zero emissions means emitting no more greenhouse gases than can be balanced by removing gases from the atmosphere. EU forests, grasslands, croplands and wetlands altogether removed a net 263 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) from the atmosphere in 2018, according to the European Commission. That tally also accounts for the amount of CO2 released when trees were cut down or wildlands burned.
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