Speaking at a press conference to launch its Global Status of CCS: 2016 Report at the twenty second conference of the parties (COP 22) in Marrakech yesterday, Global CCS Institute Chief Executive, Brad Page, said the scale of the challenge to deliver the ‘well below’ 2°C climate goal should not be underestimated.
“The current level of CO2 capture capacity is dwarfed by the amount of CCS deployment required over the next 25 years under the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2°C scenario.
Under the 2° scenario (2DS), we need to capture and store almost 4,000 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of CO2 in 2040 – mostly from non-OECD countries.
Current carbon capture capacity of facilities in operation or under construction sits at around 40 Mtpa. We need to make up a lot of ground to bridge that gap.”
Page said the past five years has heralded hugely positive developments for global CCS projects.
“We are close to having 18 large-scale CCS facilities operational globally with a number of key facilities in the United States completing construction and in the final phases of commissioning. This compares with less than 10 operational large-scale CCS facilities at the start of 2010.
This success has been driven by proactive government policy initiatives developed towards the end of the last decade.”
The 2016 report reveals that continued proactive and multi-government support is intrinsic to the ongoing success of CCS and our shared ability to reach Paris climate targets.
“Widespread deployment of CCS must be based on ‘policy parity’, particularly the provision of equitable consideration, recognition and support for CCS alongside other low-carbon technologies,” said Page.
“For CCS, this means the design and implementation of support measures tailored specifically to the technology and its lifecycle stage.
“Future efforts needs to focus on identifying incentive mechanisms that tackle the complexity of risks and act as economic multipliers to improve the conditions for CCS uptake.”
Page said the steady progression of CCS facilities in recent years and the many milestones reached in the past year were proof of CCS’ success.
He warned, however, that momentum needs to be maintained.
“The technology still depends on more widespread adoption. The vital role attached to CCS in global models in the transition to a low-carbon economy has not translated broadly enough into policy support at national levels.
“The timeline of forward activities is critical. The number of large-scale CCS facilities must rise substantially to help meet the climate targets and aspirations of the Paris Agreement.
The danger is, if the right policy, legal and regulatory preconditions are not put in place over the next five years, Paris will be just a pipe dream.”
International advisor to the Global CCS Institute and Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Professor Lord Nicholas Stern, said the pace of deployment of carbon capture and storage is simply too slow and must be given much greater attention by countries around the world.
“If the world is to achieve the target set in the Paris Agreement of holding global warming to well below two Celsius degrees, we are likely to need negative emissions, including those from the use of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.
“In addition, carbon capture and storage seems to be the only option for reducing emissions from many industrial activities. We cannot afford to neglect this technology, and we need better policies and more investment to accelerate its development.”