CCS Europe open letter to Environment Ministers

Ahead of the Environment Council on March 25th, CCS Europe sent out an open letter to the Environment Ministers.  

In this letter, CCS Europe members emphasised the critical role CCS has in achieving the 2040 Climate Targets. While the Commission identifies CCS technologies as being indispensable to the achievement of these goals, CO2 capture on a commercial scale is still not happening in the EU.

That's why CCS Europe is urging Member States to endorse CCS projects and integrate these technologies into their NECPs to achieve the 2040 climate ambitions.

CCS technologies are key to decarbonising hard-to-abate industries that cannot reduce their emissions by other means.



22 March 2024




Dear Minister,

EU Member States are invited to present their views on the Commission's proposed 2040 climate target at the meeting of the Council on 25 March. Allow me to present to you on behalf of members of CCS Europe our point of view and challenges we see for Europe in delivering on its climate ambitions by 2040 and 2050.

CCS Europe brings together industrial companies, business associations and environmental NGOs as membership. We recognise the need to capture CO2 from process emissions, principally for permanent storage, and to reduce the concentration of CO2 already in the atmosphere.

In parallel with the 2040 Climate Target Communication of 6 February, the EU Commission also published a Communication on Industrial Carbon Management. This included the Commission's declaration that the use of carbon capture technologies is 'indispensable' to the achievement of net-zero emissions. It stated that to meet the ambition some 280 million tonnes of CO2 must be captured annually by 2040, either for permanent storage or for use in making other products.

But, at present, no CO2 is being captured on a commercial basis within the European Union. Construction of a handful of plants are only commencing.

Clearly there is work to be done. However, according to the EU Commission analysis of the draft NECPs, more than two-thirds of EU Member States have not sufficiently provided projection of the CO2 volumes they hope and plan to capture in the coming years.

Carbon capture is less expensive per tonne of CO2 emissions avoided than many other technologies that currently attract more attention of policymakers. But, the first-movers of carbon capture require a lot of support in order to realize these low costs.

The Commission concluded in its Industrial Carbon Management Strategy that the technology is needed on a very extensive scale to be able to meet the proposed 2040 climate targets and reach climate neutrality by 2050: Key hard-to-abate sectors such as lime, steel, cement, aluminum, and waste-to-energy cannot be directly electrified or decarbonised by other ways in a feasible, scalable and timely manner than with carbon capture.

CCS Europe presents you with this challenge. For hard-to-abate sectors such as lime, steel, cement, aluminum, and waste-to-energy to contribute to making the EU net-zero emissions ambition and the 2040 Climate target a reality, sufficient support by Member States is needed. We therefore ask you to layout in your NECPs how you see these sectors reducing CO2 emissions in the coming years, and the role carbon capture will be playing in your Member State to this end.

Time is pressing. Investments are needed now if the proposed 2040 target is to be met. Every Member State should be developing carbon capture deployment strategies not only front-runner countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands and now Germany.

It will not be easy, but without CCS there will be no net-zero.

Yours Faithfully,

Chris Davies

Director, CCS Europe

[email protected]