An independent report launched this week has reaffirmed the importance of carbon capture and storage (CCS) as part of a portfolio of mitigation technologies for meeting climate change targets.
The study, framed by global commitments to limit temperature increases to below 2 and 1.5 degrees Celsius as ratified in the Paris Agreement, outlines the arguments made for and against CCS deployment. It also looks at experiences to date to deploy CCS worldwide and explores the findings from integrated energy systems modelling.
The research was commissioned by the Global CCS Institute (GCCSI) and led by Dr Nick Hughes and Professor Paul Ekins at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources as part of a consortium of world-leading expertise from the UCL Energy Institute, UCL Faculty of Laws, University of Edinburgh and the UK Energy Research Centre.
The report suggests that, while CCS “is not without risks or uncertainties”, a failure to deploy CCS as part of a portfolio of climate mitigation options would bring greater risk than attempting to develop it. The report’s authors conclude that CCS should therefore be part of any strategy for limiting temperature rise to 2°C, and even more so for limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C.
Prof Ekins said the 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.
Prof Stuart Haszeldine, SCCS Director and a co-author of the report, said the findings continue to strengthen the global case for deploying CCS technologies without further delay if Paris Agreement commitments are to be delivered. He said it was increasingly clear that failure to construct CCS at any meaningful scale will lead to a global failure in protecting against climate change, with the average temperature increase rising to well above 2C. He added that, without CCS, it will also be impossible to deploy bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) or other negative emission technologies, which are being seen as “last resort defences”.
The report, The role of CCS in meeting climate policy targets, can be downloaded from the GCCSI website.