Chris Davies speaks at CCUS online event

Chris Davies attended the online event today on "Towards CCUS Strategy: what regulatory framework to choose", organised by Florence School of Regulation.

The webinar focused on the upcoming Industrial Carbon Management Strategy and the obstacles in deploying carbon capture technologies at member state level.

Here is what Chris Davies had to say about the draft CCUS Strategy (the final version is expected to be published by the Commission on 6 February):

The draft strategy states that capture and storage of CO2 in general still needs to be recognised by governments across the EU as a legitimate and necessary option to decarbonise. It is an admission that there has been a failure of political leadership that persists today.

The draft also spells out that the ambition of net-zero CO2 emissions cannot be achieved without extensive deployment of carbon capture technologies. There is no hiding place for governments that seek to avoid providing support. But the targets suggested by the Commission hardly do justice to the scale of the change needed, and the speed with which it must be implemented.

Sixteen years after the CO2 Storage Directive was tabled (I was the Parliament's rapporteur) no CO2 is at present being stored. Yet the strategy proposes that 200 million tonnes must be stored annually within the EEA by 2040.

Last May, the Kalundborg Hub in Denmark became the first full-chain CCS project in the EU to secure a Final Investment Decision. It will capture 430,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. To meet the targets proposed in the draft strategy we will need a project on this scale to be authorised every ten days or so, year in and year out.

This will require huge investment, and project developers will need the support of national governments, but too many of them are finding that their Member States have neither plans nor a strategy to help.

Hard-to-abate sectors like cement and steel will soon be experiencing a huge rise in costs as ETS free allowances come to an end. They will need to make use of carbon capture technologies, and political leadership is required if the EU is to maintain its industrial base

Some standards are needed but the Commission must be careful not to delay progress still further. There has to be a sense of urgency, and Member States like Denmark and the Netherlands should be encouraged to show initiative not be held back by procedural obstacles.

The draft strategy suggests that 100m tonnes of CO2 will be captured annually from the power sector. Some Member States may regard this as essential if they are to balance grids that will be primarily based on renewables, but requiring a gas power station to make use of CCS will increase costs so will be used only when essential.

Watch the recording of the webinar here: Towards CCUS Strategy - what regulatory framework to choose (