Today’s publication of the Commission's 2040 climate plan confirms that an ambitious target for CO2 reductions can be achieved only through deployment of carbon capture technology on a huge scale.
Yet most EU Member States make no mention of strategies to support CCS in draft National Energy and Climate Plans submitted to the Commission last year.
Chris Davies, Director of advocacy body CCS Europe said: "CCS Europe welcomes the Commission's clear recognition that achievement of ambitious climate goals by 2040 will require extensive deployment of carbon capture technologies.
"Too much time has been wasted; then CO2 Storage Directive became law in 2009 but no CO2 is currently being stored within the Union. We need now an action plan of specific measures to accelerate progress.
"Strong support from national governments is essential if the ambitious targets for CO2 capture are to be achieved, but most Member States have no measures in place to promote CCS deployment.
According to the 2040 plan and Industrial Carbon Management Strategy, carbon capture will be required to curb emissions from hard-to abate industry sectors like cement, lime, steel, aluminium, chemicals and waste-to-energy.
To make net-zero a reality before mid-century, CCS Europe has identified the following actions that the European Commission must urgently take to ensure the scale-up of CCS that its 2040 targets require.
1. Clear commitment to deployment of CCS as solution to decarbonise hard-to-abate industry
The Net Zero Industry Act will require 50 million tonnes of CO2 storage capacity to be created by 2030, but the time for this is short and there is a need for very much greater storage volumes to be available by 2040 across the whole of the Union. We call on the Commission to establish the storage capacity of every Member State and remove uncertainty by setting legislative requirements for it to be brought into use.
2. Deploy an EU-wide, open, fair and resilient CO2 transport infrastructure
We call on the Commission to introduce legislative requirements to ensure that emitting industries have the means to transport CO2 across national borders when necessary to reach storage sites.
3. Support to de-risk CCS value chain financial investments
First-movers always face uncertainties and given the size of carbon capture investments it is important that help be provided from public and private sources to de-risk projects if their construction is to be accelerated.
4. Create economic incentives for achieving negative emissions
Net-zero will only be achieved if CO2 emissions that cannot be avoided are balanced by negative emissions created when CO2 from biogenic sources is captured and permanently stored. It is essential that the Commission puts a value on these that will encourage financial investment in their generation.
5. Foster a ‘low-carbon products’ market in the EU
To encourage early investors, we call for legal requirements that products such as cement must include a proportion of certified low-carbon material.