Brussels, 4 July, 2023
Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission
Kadri Simson, Commissioner for Energy
Re: Industrial Carbon Management Strategy
Dear Executive Vice-President,
As the Fit for 55 package nears completion, the carbon capture, removals, and storage discussion has reignited in the EU as it has become clear that it will be needed to achieve our climate targets by 2050. The need for a co-ordinated Industrial Carbon Management Strategy at the EU level has never been greater. The signatories would like to express their strong support for the need for an Industrial Carbon Management Strategy and to call on the Commission to ensure its timely publication this year.
Deployment of CCS in Europe will be critical to reduce CO2 emissions by decarbonising hard-to-electrify industrial processes with unavoidable process emissions and protect the competitiveness of such European industries and the thousands of people they employ. In addition, the capture of CO2 from the atmosphere or biomass, coupled with permanent storage of CO2, has the potential to create permanent carbon dioxide removals (CDR) and address residual emissions. As carbon capture, removal and storage move from planning to deployment, in part with the aid of the EU Innovation Fund, the need for a policy framework, based on a robust set of guiding principles and safeguards, is fundamental to facilitate the deployment of critical CO2 infrastructure for industrial decarbonisation at scale as well as scaling permanent CDR.
While this Commission has made positive progress for carbon capture and storage, with the CCUS Forum, and the Net Zero Industry Act, a comprehensive vision is still missing and further actions are needed to ensure the development of the CO2 value chain and the deployment of carbon capture and carbon removal technologies in Europe. The need for CO2 infrastructure has been explicitly recognised by the Commission in its proposal for a Net Zero Industry Act. Furthermore, it is critical that appropriate regulatory measures are implemented to ensure an efficient market for carbon capture, removal, transport and storage in the European Union. These are necessary to achieve greater public acceptance and support, while also creating a viable business case for European industries.
The large-scale deployment of carbon capture, removal and storage technologies in the European Union will be critical to achieve Union-wide climate neutrality by 2050, as has been explicitly recognised by the Commission, the IEA, the IPCC and most recently the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change. However, to reach the scale of deployment needed by 2050, the Commission needs to act now. Any delay at all would have a damaging impact on the ability of carbon capture, removal and storage to be deployed on time and deliver on its climate role. Furthermore, it could severely risk the competitiveness of European industries and their ability to decarbonise as quickly as possible. Many innovative and novel carbon removal methods are being
developed in European research institutions, but the EU’s burgeoning innovator and investor ecosystem will be insufficient to attract and retain this talent without moving to match the financial and regulatory support appearing in other regions.
As various EU Member States such as Denmark, France and Germany have prepared or are preparing their own national strategies this year to accelerate CCS deployment, it is imperative that regional and international factors are accounted for in order to ensure consistency is maintained on carbon capture, removal and storage deployment in the EU. Deployment of carbon management in other regions beyond the North Sea is also needed to ensure cohesion among Member States. An EU Strategy for carbon capture, removal and storage technologies is urgently needed.
The Commission’s intention to publish an Industrial Carbon Management Strategy in 2023 is a much welcome development. This has been recognised by continued success of the CCUS Forum, with broad support from stakeholders across the Union. We strongly support this initiative of the Commission and urge the Commission to ensure the publication of this strategy this year and its fast implementation.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.