SCCS Recommendations and Conference 2014 Report - A CCS future for Europe:catalysing North Sea action
Haszeldine, R Stuart
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It is unequivocal that the continued unabated use of fossil fuels is no longer an option if the world is to avoid "severe, pervasive and irreversible” damage from the impacts of climate change. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has a critical role to play in achieving energy system and industrial decarbonisation to successfully mitigate the changing climate. Europe has led the world on action to address climate change, introducing leading decarbonisation targets and the world's largest carbon emissions trading scheme. It has also supported the development and deployment of low-carbon renewable energy technologies. However, despite leading early calls for the delivery of CCS technology needed to complement and secure a low-carbon future, Europe has now fallen behind. This threatens its domestic ability to successfully decarbonise as well as its international leadership in delivering climate mitigation action. In 2007, the European Council of EU Member States called for “up to 12 CCS demonstration projects to be delivered by 2015”. Seven years and numerous project proposals later, no CCS projects have started construction, and the majority have been cancelled or mothballed. This is in stark contrast to growing CCS momentum elsewhere, such as in North America and China (see panel, Global progress on CCS). The remaining handful of Europe’s CCS demonstration projects are negotiating much-needed financial support from the EU and national governments. Located around the North Sea – Europe’s largest, best understood and most bankable CO2 storage asset – these projects must be an immediate priority in the EU’s climate objectives. However, even these will be insufficient to successfully deliver the full potential of CCS. It is essential that follow-on projects are quickly brought forward and properly supported to create a CCS industry capable of delivering significant decarbonisation along with energy, security, job retention and economic value. The 2014 SCCS Annual Conference, A CCS future for Europe, brought together international CCS experts from industry, government, research, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and finance to explore how Europe can regain momentum and deliver CCS.