Negative emissions – the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – will be needed in the EU and globally to reach long-term climate targets. This scoping paper explores the different concepts relevant to discussing negative emissions in an EU policy context, starting with the scientific basis described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The paper then discusses different ways negative emissions technologies can be categorised, and the potential trade-offs associated with their deployment. Finally, some political considerations for negative emissions policy are discussed. The paper will form the basis for an upcoming policy paper on how the EU should approach negative emissions in its climate policy framework.