CCS needs to play a ‘larger role in climate efforts’

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) needs to play a larger role in reducing global emissions. The Global CCS Institute’s new report outlines the technology’s significant successes in the last year […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) needs to play a larger role in reducing global emissions.

The Global CCS Institute’s new report outlines the technology’s significant successes in the last year but emphasises it needs to see much larger uptake if the 2°C Paris Agreement target is to be achieved.

It states there are currently 38 major CCS projects in the pipeline, with more than 20 of these to go into operation by the end of 2017.

This includes one in Japan, one in Abu Dhabi and three in the US. However, there is still not enough CCS being planned to hit climate change goals, it adds.

It suggests most climate model scenarios can’t meet targets without factoring in the technology – if the transition to a low carbon economy had to be reached without it, it would cost 138% more.

Almost 4,000 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of CO2 needs to be captured and stored by 2040 to hit the 2°C target, according to the report. Currently this figure is under 40Mtpa.

It states although CCS is cost-competitive, it doesn’t attract the same levels of support as sectors such as renewables, which can be installed in a shorter time-frame but don’t offer the same extent of long term sustainability.

It adds this imbalance needs to be addressed with economic policies, regulatory instruments and incentive schemes.

Brad Page, CEO of the Global CCS Institute, said: “We sit at a crossroads. The projects materialising now are the result of government policy initiatives developed towards the end of the last decade. The next wave of CCS projects depends on what happens now in the next decade and the recognition and resolve that all parties can bring. “