Strong carbon capture policies are the “missing ingredient” in faster adoption of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to enable CO2 reductions, according to a report released today.
The report, Closing the Gap on Climate: Why CCS is a Vital Part of the Solution, calls for governments to enact policies that support CCS. It was released by members of the ENGO Network on CCS at COP21.
Some 22 CCS projects are operating or under construction worldwide — double the number at the beginning of the decade — according to the Global CCS Institute’s annual report, Global Status of CCS: 2015.
The ENGO Network report updates a 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 degrees Celsius.
“Our new report is a fresh reminder that CCS is not just about coal,” says David Hawkins, director of the climate program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “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 degrees Celsius.”
Key report conclusions include:
- 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.
ENGO 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.