May 22 2009
Carbon Capture and Storage in China
By Matthew Findlay
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To prevent climate change from breaching dangerous tipping points, global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will need to peak before 2020 and fall rapidly thereafter.
Developed countries must take the lead by cutting their own emissions sharply and supporting the efforts of developing countries.
China has ambitious targets on energy efficiency and renewable energy but will remain dependent on coal for at least the next few decades. Early development and deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is therefore essential if China is to play a meaningful role in global emissions reduction. CCS should be seen as one component of an ambitious overall clean energy strategy, not a substitute for other measures.
The EU has earmarked funding for 10-12 CCS demonstration plants but the money will not be available for projects in third countries such as China. This leaves question marks over future EU-China cooperation on CCS. The EU needs to be clear on what it wants to achieve and what it is willing to fund. Options range from small-scale technology development to a bigger investment in laying foundations for wider rollout of CCS in China. The Italian G8 or the US-led Major Economies Forum could be possible opportunities to, inter alia, trigger progress on global CCS cooperation as a catalyser for wider efforts to achieve a fair and effective UN agreement on climate change in Copenhagen in December 2009.
Download the ‘Carbon Capture in China’ briefing paper prepared for Germanwatch by E3G above.