A breakfast discussion organised by CCS Europe this week and hosted by NZIA rapporteur Christian Ehler MEP proved to be the best attended CCS event ever held in the European Parliament.

More than 60 people, including 9 Members of the European Parliament heard industry representatives speak of the need to deploy carbon capture and storage technologies if the ambitions of the Net-Zero Industry Act are to be met.

Environmental NGOs Jonas Helseth (Bellona Europe) and Alessia Virone (Clean Air Task Force) set the scene, reminding all who seek to curb climate change that CCS is a proven technology that will be needed by the hard-to-abate industrial sectors responsible for 20% of EU CO2 emissions.

Their words were backed up by industry leaders such as Tim Van den Bosche, President of the European Lime Association who explained that the chemical process of producing one tonne of lime - essential for cement, steel, glass and pure water - releases one tonne of CO2.  The industry needs a huge increase in renewable energy but CO2 released by the chemical process must be captured.

Paul De Bruycker, President of CEWEP, the European waste-to-energy association, told MEPs, assistants, and government permanent representatives that there are more than 500 WtE plants operating in Europe. Carbon capture can be an effective tool to further reduce the carbon footprint of WtE installations with the additional potential to achieve net negative emissions.

In origin CCS can generate negative emissions, vital for achievement of the net-zero target.

Emmanuel Rodriguez, vice-president of ArcelorMittal made clear that the steel industry would seek to decarbonise in different ways but that CCS is a required technology. And Vincent Michel, Holcim's director of the GO4Zero project in Belgium, which has support from the EU Innovation Fund, gave a hands-on account of the practical steps being taken to deploy CCS to eliminate CO2 emissions from cement manufacture.

The Parliament's Industry Committee will vote on amendments to the NZIA proposals next month. Christian Ehler MEP stressed that not only was CO2 storage required now but that targets for the future needed to be set and arrangements made for the transport of CO2 to storage sites. He warned that, unless permitting processes are accelerated, projects developers’ risk being tied up in years of expensive administration and targets will not be met.