The Netherlands and the United Kingdom set out ambitious plans for CCS in the run up to COP23

Oct 15 2017

The Zero Emissions Platform (ZEP) has welcomed announcements by the Dutch and UK governments on CCS.

The Dutch Government Coalition Agreement includes ambitious proposals for a target to reduce emissions in The Netherlands by 49% by 2030, going beyond the current EU target. The document, published on 10th October, also outlines a key role for Carbon Capture Storage (CCS), with a commitment to storing 20 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030. This accounts for around 1/3 of the overall effort. Likewise, the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, published yesterday, has recognised the crucial role of CCS technology and laid out a vision for its large-scale deployment from 2030.

These positive developments on CCS come at the same time as the ENVI Council is due to adopt its conclusions on the Paris Agreement in preparation for the next COP meeting in November.  CCS is one of the climate technologies needed for the EU to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The IPCC have concluded that it will be almost impossible to remain within a 2°C limit without CCS and that attempting to do so could increase the cost of tackling climate change by 138%.

Commenting on this week’s  announcements, Dr. Graeme Sweeney, Chairman of ZEP, said, “The announcements from the Dutch and the UK Governments are timely and extremely positive. They demonstrate that European Member States are now getting behind CCS and taking concrete steps towards its deployment – and that once countries take a long term view and analyse how to achieve the Paris Agreement, CCS becomes inevitable for many economic sectors.     

In particular, it is encouraging to note that the Dutch Government have recognised the importance of CCS to reducing emissions in the industry and waste sectors. We are also delighted that the Coalition Agreement explicitly mentions the need to work with the Port of Rotterdam to deliver a CCS cluster, with the potential to expand these activities to other regions in The Netherlands. Such CCS clusters could deliver the initial CO2 transport and storage infrastructure that could transform European regions into sustainable economic zones. Not only could this help to retain vital industries, it could drive significant inward investment by offering opportunities to investors conscious of the climate risk, delivering economic benefits at both a regional and local level.

But we must remember that time is of the essence. Investment in international CO2 transport and storage infrastructure must start now in order to deploy CCS widely from 2025 – a delay of even 10 years will cost power and industry an extra €200 billion to reach EU climate targets. We must work together with European policy makers to ensure that incentives are put in place to deliver this critical technology”. 

Zero Emissions Platform

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