When I joined SCCS in 2014, fresh from working as a translator and Japanese language instructor, to say that I had a lot to learn is an understatement – everything was different and everything was new. However, a close-knit team that always pulls together – plus a little hard work on my part perhaps - helped me get to grips with the field of CCS and what was a very different working environment.
Fast forward a few years, and it is that same quality of collaboration that, for me, shines through in all the activities and achievements of SCCS since its inception in 2005. It is also the same quality that is vital to our chances of staving off the worst impacts of climate change and of delivering a cleaner, greener and fairer future for all, before it’s too late.
If you live in Scotland, you may have heard the phrase mony a mickle maks a muckle (many small things make a big thing). A collaborative effort from the start, the SCCS Secretariat and partner institutions continue to be involved in mony a mickle with partners in the UK and across Europe and the world, with the common goal of realising the potential of CCS as one of the much-needed tools in our climate change mitigation toolbox. As our Global CCS map shows, more and more CCS projects are coming on-line, but there still aren’t enough.
One area where CCS can play a major role, and that I’ve been working on, is industrial decarbonisation. In the first half of 2020, I worked on Phase 1 of Scotland’s Net Zero Roadmap (SNZR) project, led by NECCUS and funded under the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which supports the decarbonisation of six major industrial areas across the UK.
Providing a baseline for and analysis of Scottish industrial CO2 emissions, and working closely with the project partners – which included SCCS partner institutions the University of Strathclyde and the University of Edinburgh – I developed the geographical and industrial scope for the Phase 2 proposal. Collaboration between the nine project partners may have been challenging at the best of times; during a global pandemic, even more so. Those combined efforts, however, have been rewarded as we started the new year with the excellent and most welcome news that Phase 2 has been awarded funding, with the 24-month project kicking off imminently.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to see many of us working from home, seemingly isolated, our individual efforts will surely (we hope) amount to something much more impactful. And so it is too with tackling climate change and the transition to a net zero carbon society. With the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement just passed, COP26 just around the corner and the clock still ticking, collaboration to deliver what is needed is, as ever, absolutely vital.