Carbon capture and storage technology, which can dramatically reduce carbon pollution from industry and biomass facilities, as well as gas- and coal-fired power plants, has made great strides, but government policies are urgently needed if this piece of the climate mitigation portfolio is to be deployed widely, according to a new report released today.
“Closing the Gap on Climate: Why CCS is a Vital Part of the Solution” was released by members of the ENGO Network on CCS at the international conference on climate change in Paris, where nearly 200 countries are meeting to develop a historic, international effort to slow, stop and reverse climate change to safeguard our planet.
The report updates their 2012 report, and chronicles CCS development since the 2005 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Carbon Capture and Storage, which called for targeted governmental support at the local and international levels to foster the deployment of CCS. The IPCC continues to highlight CCS as a crucial technology that can help prevent cumulative CO2 emissions pushing global temperature rises above 2°C.
“New government policies, without question, are the missing ingredient today, and the key to enabling substantial and faster adoption of CCS technology, alongside other climate-protection technologies that enable further reductions in CO2 emissions,” said David Hawkins, director of the climate program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a New York-based environmental advocacy organization. “With each year passing year, the need grows for more rapid deployment of all climate mitigation solutions.”
“Our new report is a fresh reminder that CCS is not just about coal,” Hawkins said. “It is also applicable to natural gas-fired power generation and to key industrial sectors such as cement, steel and chemicals. What is more, CCS combined with sustainable biomass feedstocks could help us achieve ‘negative emissions,’ which are increasingly being considered in climate models as a route to limiting global warming to 2°C.”
Key report conclusions include the following:
– With a host of operating projects as living proof, CCS technology is a reality now and not a theoretical future prospect.
– Large-scale CCS deployment that will meaningfully accelerate global decarbonization efforts depends on political will to address the delaying tactics of fossil fuel interests over the past decade.
– For CCS to deliver on its significant potential, concerted government action at the regional, national and international levels is needed in order to provide a stable market signal and investor certainty.
– More large-scale integrated projects need to be deployed to a degree that will enable movement beyond the initial high-cost phase inherent to any technology that has not yet achieved widespread use. Regulatory, policy and market conditions need to drive widespread CCS investment and cost-reductions through learning and economies of scale.
Network members urge that the Paris agreements also focus on ensuring sufficient funding for CCS deployment globally, and on a mechanism for the transfer of relevant knowledge and know-how from industrialized to developing countries.
Members of the international ENGO Network on CCS share knowledge and work toward common positions and public responses to international developments related to CCS. Network members are: The Bellona Foundation, Clean Air Task Force, The Climate Institute, E3G, Environmental Defense Fund, Green Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Pembina Institute, Sandbag, World Resources Institute, and Zero Emission Resource Organisation.
Download the report.