Speaking at the launch of the University College London (UCL) authored report: ‘The role of CCS in meeting climate policy targets’, at London’s Royal Society, a group of pre-eminent speakers including UK Committee on Climate Change Chairman, Lord Deben, Shell Chief Climate Change Adviser, David Hone, and Global CCS Institute CEO, Brad Page, reiterated the need for CCS to be part of a portfolio of climate mitigation options which need to be combined to achieve Paris climate change targets.
“CCS must be considered part of any strategy to limit temperatures to 2 degrees or less,” said Page, who leads the world authority on CCS.
“A body of evidence by expert climate change bodies, including the IPCC and IEA, supports the view that CCS must be part of a portfolio of climate change mitigation technologies. It is particularly crucial as a clean mitigation technology which can decarbonise industry, including the steel, cement, fertilizer and petrochemical sectors.”
Report co-author, Professor Paul Ekins said UCL’s report found that pursuing CCS requires a whole-chain, innovation systems approach, including coordination of actors and infrastructure, and attention to legislative and regulatory frameworks.
“Of course, there will be a need for technology ‘push’ policies such as support for research and development, and market ‘pull’ policies such as price support and carbon taxes,” Ekins explained.
“However, it’s also important to recall that comparable large-scale technological systems and infrastructures have historically benefitted from some kind of whole-chain coordination and support, with governments playing key enabling roles. We do not believe that CCS will succeed without similar whole-chain coordination and support.”
UCL co-author, Dr Nick Hughes said report findings indicated that the non-availability of CCS appears to make climate mitigation scenarios “at best much higher cost, and at worst infeasible”.
“Thus, we find that not having CCS available will pose a significant risk to the achievability of the Paris targets. We find this is a convincing reason for putting in place clear and long-term measures to support the development of CCS systems.”
Panellist and IEA Analyst, Samantha McCulloch said CCS technologies offer a solution to some of the most vexing climate challenges the world faces, and the need to apply it more comprehensively is critical and urgent.
“Latest IEA analysis confirms that CCS would contribute 14 % of the CO2 emissions reductions needed in a 2° scenario. The case for CCS is compelling but an urgent boost in investment will be needed to secure these future emissions reductions,” McCulloch continued.
Panellist and Distinguished Associate of the Energy Futures Initiative, Dr Julio Friedmann, said that if people really care about climate change, they should care about CCS.
“We need urgency in climate action – the climate math demands it. CCS is a proven and pragmatic technology to rein in greenhouse gas emissions – emissions that continue to grow. It’s affordable, flexible and the economics add up. Now we need the policy impetus to create a thriving market.”
The launch event, hosted by the Global CCS Institute, and moderated by BBC Environmental Analyst, Roger Harrabin, was attended by more than a hundred representatives spanning government, industry, academia, and environmental NGOs.
There are currently 17 large-scale CCS facilities in operation around the world, with four more coming on stream within the next 12–18 months.
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