CCS climate change mitigation role reconfirmed in Paris agreement

Nov 04 2016


Carbon capture and storage (CCS) takes on even greater significance as a major climate change mitigation technology with the Paris climate change agreement entering into force.

Global CCS Institute Chief Executive, Brad Page, expressed optimism that new opportunities to accelerate the deployment of CCS will emerge as countries grapple with how to deliver their current and future emission objectives.

“With the legal commencement of the Paris Agreement taking effect today, it has taken just 10 months to achieve the same milestone that eluded the Kyoto Protocol for eight years. This bodes well for inclusive and comprehensive climate actions going forward.  

Mr Page said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has indicated that containing the average global temperature rise to 2°C `and below’ will be challenging even with the inclusion of CCS.

“We know, however, that without CCS, it is highly improbable that the world can ever deliver on the Paris Agreement’s core climate goal.”

Mr Page said it is clear that the Paris Agreement provides a high level of encouragement for nations to progressively strengthen their support for climate actions through the bottom-up, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) process. While the rapid ramping up of the deployment of renewables, nuclear and energy efficiency are all required, the continued large-scale use of fossil fuels cannot be ignored or wished away.

“With fossil fuels likely to account for more than 70% of total primary energy up to 2040 and beyond, CCS must feature increasingly as a mainstream mitigation option. Its adoption by many more countries is assured if the temperature targets in the Paris Agreement are to be achieved.

Mr Page said that one year on from the Paris conference, many nations appeared to be embracing the huge mitigation challenge that lies ahead. However none have as yet established targets that are capable of achieving the temperature objectives of the Paris Agreement.

“With a global geological storage potential of many thousands of gigatonnes of CO2, CCS offers more than just an attractive opportunity to manage CO2 emissions in the industrial and power sectors.

CCS also delivers important co-benefits including the control of many non-CO2 pollutants which currently threaten the health of many millions of people, especially in developing nations.”

Mr Page said CCS is highly credentialed as an environmentally sound technology option within the UNFCCC’s architecture and is already capturing and storing 24 Mt of CO2 every year.

“The challenge remains to fully support its mitigation potential in a way that not only safeguards the world against the dangers of climate change, but also ensures that climate action is achieved in a cost-effective and timely manner.

In practice, this means affording CCS similar levels of policy support and market opportunities as many other clean energy alternatives are currently receiving, and so that it can materially enhance the global clean energy outcome.”

Global CCS Institute


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