Ahead of the UN Climate Change talks in Paris (COP21), this open letter was sent to the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres today on behalf of 41 signatories representing CO2 storage expertise from 13 countries. The letter also provides a link to supporting evidence.
Dear Ms Figueres,
The geological storage of carbon dioxide for Carbon Capture and Storage is secure and safe
As geoscientists and engineers representing decades of scientific research worldwide we would like to reassure the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that the geological storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) with relevance to carbon capture and storage (CCS) is safe, secure and effective, and we have considerable evidence to show this.
Extensive research gives us very high confidence that CO2 storage in appropriately selected sites is secure over geological timescales and leakage is very unlikely. The residual risk of leakage can be managed by well-understood procedures and presents very low risk of harm to the climate, environment or human health.
The knowledge and techniques required to select secure storage sites are well established, being built upon decades of experience in hydrocarbon exploration and production. A global capacity of suitable CO2 storage sites has been estimated at several trillion tonnes. There is also extensive experience of CO2 injection and storage in a variety of situations and locations around the world.
We can state the following with very high confidence:
– Natural CO2 reservoirs have securely held billions of tonnes of CO2 underground for millions of years. These provide an understanding of CO2 storage processes and inform the selection of rock formations for secure storage as part of full-chain CCS.
– Stored CO2 is securely contained by physical and chemical processes that increase storage security with time. Injected CO2, held within the storage site by multiple layers of impermeable rocks, is trapped in isolated pockets, dissolves in fluids in the rock and may eventually react with the rock to make new minerals.
– Millions of tonnes of CO2 have been injected and stored since 1972 in storage pilots and demonstrations, enhanced oil recovery and other industry practices. Accumulated experience of CO2 injection worldwide has led to the development of routine best practices for the operation and closure of CO2 storage sites, and provides direct evidence of engineered storage security.
– CO2 injected into underground rocks can be monitored to confirm its containment. A variety of monitoring methods has been developed and demonstrated. In the very unlikely event of poor site selection, these techniques are able to identify unexpected CO2 migration before leakage to the surface can occur.
– Leakage of CO2 from geological storage presents a very low risk to climate, environment and human health. Research results show that the impacts of any CO2 leakage on land or at the seabed will be localised and very unlikely to cause significant harm to ecosystems and communities. Should CO2move towards the surface, interventions can be made to control, minimise and prevent leakage.
– Tackling CO2 emissions from power generation and key industries is critical to delivering climate change mitigation in line with the UNFCCC’s objectives. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finds, with high confidence, that attempting to limit global warming to below 2˚C without CCS is unachievable.
– Full-chain CCS, which integrates CO2 capture, transport and storage technologies, is already being demonstrated at a growing number of facilities. The security of properly selected and regulated storage sites presents no barrier to its further deployment and enables its important contribution to climate change mitigation. We urge you to reflect this position in the content and outcome of your forthcoming talks in Paris this December.
Dr Maxine Akhurst, Geologist, British Geological Survey, UK
Dr Richard Bates, Senior Lecturer in Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of St Andrews, UK
Professor Sally Benson, Director, Global Climate and Energy Project, Stanford University, USA
Professor Martin Blunt, Professor of Petroleum Engineering, Imperial College London, UK
Professor Andrew Chadwick, Individual Merit Research Scientist, British Geological Survey, UK
Dr Byoung-Young Choi, Senior Researcher, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Republic of Korea
Professor Peter Cook, Peter Cook Centre for CCS Research, University of Melbourne, Australia
Dr Isabelle Czernichowski-Lauriol, CO2GeoNet President Emeritus, BRGM, France
Dr Florian Doster, Assistant Professor, Heriot-Watt University, UK
Dr Stuart Gilfillan, Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Edinburgh, UK
Professor Jon Gluyas, Professor in CCS & Geo-Energy, Durham University, UK
Dr William Gunter, Distinguished Scientist, Alberta Research Council, Canada
Professor Stuart Haszeldine, Professor of Carbon Capture and Storage, University of Edinburgh, UK
Dr Susan Hovorka, Senior Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Professor Ruben Juanes, Associate Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Dr John Kaldi, Chief Scientist CO2CRC, University of Adelaide, Australia
Professor Joao Marcelo Ketzer, Director, Institute of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Dr Dirk Kirste, Associate Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Dr Jun Kita, Senior Researcher, Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, Japan
Professor Anna Korre, Professor of Environmental Engineering, Imperial College, UK
Professor Xiaochun Li, Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, People’s Republic of China
Mr Xiaolong Li, CO2 Storage Demonstration Project Lead, UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre, People’s Republic of China
Professor Knut-Andreas Lie, Chief Scientist, SINTEF ICT, Oslo, Norway
Professor Eric Mackay, Foundation CMG Chair in Reactive Flow Simulation, Heriot-Watt University, UK
Dr Juerg Matter, Associate Professor in Geoengineering, National Oceanographic Centre, University of Southampton, UK
Professor Bernhard Mayer, Professor of Isotope Geochemistry, University of Calgary, Canada
Dr Tip Meckel, Research Scientist, Gulf Coast Carbon Center, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Professor Jan Martin Nordbotten, VISTA Professor, University of Bergen, Norway
Dr Gheorghe Oaie, General Director, National Institute for Marine Geology and Geoecology – GeoEcoMar, Romania
Dr Ernest Perkins, Principal Scientist (Storage), Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, Canada
Mr Sergio Persoglia, CO2GeoNet General Secretary, OGS, Italy
Dr Gillian Pickup, Assistant Professor, Heriot-Watt University, UK
Dr Matthias Raab, Chief Operating Officer, CO2CRC, Melbourne, Australia
Professor Fedora Quattrocchi, Energy and GeoResources, National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology, Rome, Italy
Dr Katherine Romanak, Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Professor Bruno Saftić, Associate Professor, University of Zagreb, Republic of Croatia
Professor Toru Sato, Department of Ocean Technology, Policy, and Environment, University of Tokyo, Japan
Dr Constantin Stefan Sava, President, European Network for Research in Geo-Energy – EneRG; President, CO2 Club Association, Romania
Dr Kiminori Shitashima, Associate Professor, CO2 Storage Research Division, International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research, Kyushu University, Japan
Dr David Vega-Maza, Senior Lecturer and CCS Champion, University of Aberdeen, UK
Dr Maxwell Watson, Project Development Manager, CO2CRC, Australia
Dr Ton Wildenborg, CO2GeoNet President, TNO, The Netherlands
Professor Di Zhou, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, People’s Republic of China
Like our Facebook Page
Investing in a Sustainable Environmental Future for Northern Virginia
Prominent Trends in Seafood Sustainability in 2022
Can PEMF Help To Improve Plant Growth for Eco-Friendly Gardeners
How the U.S. Government is Promoting Green Energy in the Country
12 Essential Things for Buying Your First Home
Harnessing Sustainability with User-Centric Technology Innovation
Making Your Dream of Having an Eco-Friendly Garden Come True
Tips for Optimal Waste Management in Your Home
The Agricultural Benefits of Weather Stations for Eco-Friendly Farmers
What Makes Online Furniture Eco-Friendly?
7 Eco-Friendly Plant-Based Alternatives for Everyday Products
Top 5 Benefits of Eco-Friendly Cars
Why Eco-Friendly Homes Should Have Outdoor Bathrooms
Merits of Sustainability Reporting: What Every Manager Must Know
Low Emission and Clean Air Zones: What You Need To Know
4 Ways To Build A Sustainable Home
CEO Brian Ladin Explains How The Shipping Industry Is Going Green
A Guide to Eco-Friendly Landscaping
Why Transitioning Your Company to an EV Fleet Makes Sense?
6 Practices for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Plant Operations
- Features11 months ago
Seven Health and Safety Tips for Eco-Friendly Products in a Green Home
- Energy11 months ago
Eco-Friendly Homeowners Lower Carbon Footprints through Greater Air Conditioner Efficiency
- Features11 months ago
Essential Guidelines for Eco-friendly Moving into new Home
- Features10 months ago
5 Compelling Reasons to Hire an Eco-Friendly Contractor