CCS Europe's letter to Vice-President Timmermans

CCS Europe Supports Vice-President Timmermans' Position 

Dear Vice-President Timmermans

On behalf of the Commission, you signed last week an open letter from the 'High Ambition Coalition' which stressed the need to prevent global temperatures from rising by more than 1.5degC. 

The letter stressed that "abatement technologies" (CCS) must not be used to justify continued fossil fuel expansion, and that the use of fossil fuels should be phased out.

You will find that members of Carbon Capture & Storage Europe are wholly in agreement with you. Our concern is that the Coalition letter may create the impression that CCS technology need play little part in achieving our climate goals, when in practice net-zero will not be achieved without CCS, as reports from the IPCC and IEA repeatedly confirm.

The principal purpose of CCS will be to reduce emissions from energy-intensive and industrial sources that are hard to abate by other means. 

For achievement of the net-zero ambition, it will also be essential to achieve negative emissions through the use of CCS to reduce CO2 already in the atmosphere by capturing it directly from the air or from sustainable biogenic sources.

As the High Ambition Coalition says in its letter, the role of CCS in decarbonising the energy sector should be minimal.

The idea that CCS deployment will perpetuate the use of fossil fuels is false. Defenders of fossil fuels may claim that CCS provides them with a 'get-out-of-jail-free' card, but the reality is that investment in the technology makes use of fossil fuels more expensive and makes the alternatives to them more attractive.

The purpose of CCS is to stop CO2 waste from being dumped in the atmosphere. As much of Europe swelters in a record-breaking heatwave, the need for action to curb emissions from every source becomes ever more urgent.

CCS provides the only means by which a wide range of industrial sectors - cement, steel, lime, chemicals, aluminium, fertilisers, waste-to-energy, to name just some - can meet the net-zero ambition.  

It is essential that the Commission and EU Member States urgently put in place the policy instruments that can drive forward CCS deployment and secure a strong European industrial base.


Yours sincerely, 

Chris Davies 
Director, CCS Europe