May 27 2008
Carbon capture and storage critical for EU’s climate change objectives
By Nick Mabey
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E3G has joined together with Alstom, Bellona Foundation, Climate Change Capital, and Royal Dutch Shell, to form a CCS Leadership Coalition.
The Coalition members aim to collaborate on the accelerated development of CCS by supporting and building on current proposals for European climate & energy legislation. Full details follow below.
Accelerated deployment of carbon capture and storage critical to achieving Europe’s climate change objectives
Press release: CCS Leadership Coalition calls for EU action starting in 2009 on the eve of a Parliamentary workshop on CCS.
A new coalition of industry and NGOs today is calling for accelerated deployment of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) as part of wider EU efforts to prevent run-away climate change and to reduce global CO2 emissions.
CCS is an essential and pragmatic solution in a world that by 2050 will need to have cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% from current levels and yet will remain dependent on fossil fuels due to rising energy demands. The critical contribution of CCS has been identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for its potential to substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Global energy scenarios which limit global warming to 2°C are based on large-scale deployment of CCS starting in 2015-2020. By 2050 fossil fuel power plants throughout the world will generally have to operate with CCS. Europe must play a leading role in this.
EU leaders at the Spring Summit 2007 which set the EU’s climate targets, called for a mechanism to stimulate the construction and operation of up to twelve large scale demonstration plants by 2015. If it is widely deployed, CCS could deliver at least one quarter of the CO2 emissions reductions required as part of efforts to stabilise temperature rises below 2°C.
The EU has yet to establish firm financing mechanisms in support of pledges made by Heads of State and Government to have CCS demonstration projects up and running by 2015. Early demonstration is key to bringing CCS to commercial deployment as early as 2015.
A range of CCS technologies are available now for large-scale demonstration. Shell has calculated that a 7 year delay in the world’s known CCS projects means 90-100 billion tones of avoidable CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere, or a 10 ppm increase in long-term CO2 stabilisation levels. The members of this coalition are keen to play their part, provided that governments create the right economic conditions as they have done with other new technologies.
The proposed directives on CCS and Emissions Trading provide a unique opportunity to devise a framework for funding that must not be missed. The industry and NGO members today jointly call for urgent decisions by the EU institutions to support a transitional Project Demonstration Mechanism* whereby industrial consortia operating CCS demonstration projects would obtain credits for the verified storage of CO2, which could be traded in the EU ETS.
Such a mechanism should be time- and volume-limited, transparent, competitive, and market-based and be part of a roadmap to mass CCS deployment in Europe. A new project support mechanism for large-scale CCS demonstration must build on clear rules for liability and safety of storage, as defined by the proposed directive on geological storage of CO2. Members of this Coalition would equally support any other EU-wide funding solutions that would allow early CCS demonstration.
By becoming a global first mover on CCS and in line with its ambitious climate change commitments, Europe could become a world leader in what is likely to be seen as nothing short of a revolution in energy conversion.
For every day full-scale demonstration of CCS is delayed, we make the challenge of meeting our targets harder. The time to act is now”,
said a spokesperson for the Coalition.