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NGOs Issue Report on CCS in Europe

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European-based members of the ENGO Network on CCS published last week “Moving CCS Forward in Europe,” a report examining the current status of this essential climate change mitigation technology in Europe, why policy efforts have stalled, and recommendations for improving momentum.

Authors from three environmental organizations – Bellona Foundation, E3G and ZERO – jointly contributed to the report, which was presented by lead author Chris Littlecott at a European meeting of the Global CCS Institute (GCCSI) in Edinburgh.

“To move CCS forward in Europe, we need to look beyond the limits of the current bureaucratic imagination,” Littlecott said. “Politicians and policymakers need to realise that CCS on industrial emitters and gas power plants is essential as we move to a low-carbon economy.

"Without the effort to address climate change, there is no need for CCS. The CCS sector, and especially the politicians, must decide whether it wishes to wholeheartedly engage with a vision of Europe transitioning to a low–carbon economy. And whether one wishes to positively and proactively seek its place within that," says Camilla Svendsen Skriung, political adviser in ZERO.

"There is a conflict between the vision of transformation and an incremental approach to reaching it through ‘efficient’ steps. This has been seen most readily in how the ETS has been developed (and undermined), with interests seeking to protect current portfolios and economical risks," she continues. "This paper looks at why CCS still matters for Europe, and how a more positive outlook can be encouraged. It points to the need of a positive vision of how CCS could be advanced to win back political support and inform policy choices. And not the least; it suggests concrete measures for moving CCS forward, very needed on a European level."

The paper reviews Europe’s previous efforts at CCS, looks at how policy could be reconsidered going forward and suggests ways to win back political support to inform policy choices. It also presents ideas on how EU-wide and Member State policy incentives could work together to accelerate action on CCS. Finally, it considers the case of Norway, a country that is not an EU member, but has had similar leadership aspirations for CCS.

The paper highlights how a revitalised vision of CCS in Europe would need to include:

  • Greater attention to the value proposition of CCS – for example, with respect to:
    • job retention for industrial emitters,
    • the added value that would come from low-carbon industrial production,
    • the potential for CCS plants to play a flexible role in balancing renewables,
    • additional revenue creation through use of CO2,
    • the proactive development of clusters and industrial ecologies, and
      • the critical contribution to climate stability from being able to secure negative emissions from CCS in conjunction with sustainable biomass.
      • A focus on how early investment in CO2 storage and transport infrastructures are key enablers for effective cost reduction and deployment at scale.
      • An acknowledgement that if CCS is to be deployed, it will require a package of finance and regulation to pull it through from demonstration to deployment. An ETS-only approach is no longer credible.
      • An awareness that continued investment in unabated fossil plants is fast reaching its limits, and that any justification of new investments with a vague suggestion of future CCS deployment is a threat to credibility. The CCS sector in Europe needs to position itself as serious about climate change. EU Member States are already at the point of being able to say ‘no new coal without CCS’. We are not far off from them having to say the same for gas too.

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 Clean Air Task Force, E3G, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Climate Institute, The Pembina Institute, World Resources Institute, Green Alliance, Environmental Defense Fund, Bellona Foundation and Zero Emission Resource Organisation.


Link to the report.


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