UK union urges Government to adopt CCS

Feb 02 2014

Unite, Britain’s biggest union, and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have joined forces to call on the government to embrace Carbon Capture Storage to cut energy bills, create jobs and reduce CO2 emissions.

At a conference on January 27 attended by politicians, industry experts and workers in the energy sector, the unions warned that jobs are being lost and the UK is facing a “make or break moment” if the country is to take advantage of its prime position to be a world leader in Carbon Capture technology. 
Speakers at the conference included Tom Greatrix MP, Peter Emery, production director for Drax and Philip Garner, director general, Coal Pro. 
Failure to embrace CCS would have devastating consequences for jobs, said the unions, because of the premature closure of coal fired power stations if CCS is not deployed. 800 jobs are due to be lost at Eggborough power station in North Yorkshire. Had CCS already been in use those jobs and the power produced by Eggborough would still be viable. 
The same region also includes the Drax power station and  encompasses the Kellingley deep mine and is the location of the proposed White Rose CCS project. If the White Rose CCS project goes ahead the immediate short term effect would be to create over 1,000 construction jobs during a four year period as well as securing the jobs within the local existing supply chain.       
Unite national officer Kevin Coyne said: “Capture carbon or lose jobs, that is our message to the government. The UK is facing a make or break moment if the country is to take advantage of its prime position to be a world leader in carbon capture technology.  If the government steps up and embraces carbon capture it will  cut energy bills, create jobs and reduce CO2 emissions. 
“There needs to be a sense of urgency because jobs are already being lost, like those at Eggborough power station and our energy supplies are being put at risk. We hope our conference will focus minds and will be a step further towards keeping the lights on and creating jobs.” 


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