On 18 June, Director for CCS Europe Chris Davies moderated a panel on "Carbon Capture and Storage Progress Across Europe: An update on projects" during the Decarb Connect Europe Conference in Berlin, Germany.

Three great CCS projects were featured in the session during the conference, each of them able to demonstrate the important role that carbon capture technology will play in achieving industrial decarbonisation.

Each of them hoping to secure a final investment decision within the next two years if the transport and storage parts of the value chain can be brought into line. Each of them with impressive advocates: Faidon Prokopios putting the case for Titan Cement’s IFESTOS project in Greece, Julien Burdeau arguing for CCS at the Eramet manganese smelters in Norway, and Tone Verbruggen speaking up for Heidelberg Materials’ project in Belgium. And each of them dependent upon securing public funding to confirm the business case for the investment required.

Yet the people who might vote to support such funding were not in the conference room. As so often, the CCS community was talking to the CCS community.

But CCS cannot progress without strong support from our politicians. CCS Europe's message to the conference was that this is the time to start talking to politicians, with hundreds of newly elected MEPs about to take their seats for the first time. Most of those new MEPs making their way to the European Parliament will know nothing of CCS. They will not appreciate its importance in achieving industrial carbon management. Or its ability to reduce levels of CO2 already in the atmosphere. They will not know about the scale of what must be accomplished, or about the business opportunities that this will create. They may have doubts as to whether CO2 storage is safe.

We need CCS champions in the European Parliament. We need MEPs who will keep up the pressure on the Commission, and through the Commission on national  governments. We need MEPs who will ensure that CCS deployment is a key element of Europe’s climate policy.

The only effective way of finding CCS champions in the Parliament is to engage directly with MEPs, especially those who serve on the Industry and Environment Committees. They need to hear from those who can explain why it is so important to make CCS happen, and on a huge scale. Telling this story isn’t something that rests exclusively with CEOs or public affairs directors, the engineers and other specialists are equally able to speak with conviction and authority.

And CCS Europe, with our secretariat based just a few minutes’ walk from the Parliament in Brussels, is here to offer advice and guidance for those new to political advocacy. Putting the case for CCS isn’t something that can be left to others. Everyone working on a CCS project should be planning on how to win political support for their efforts.

Get in touch with CCS Europe, and let’s find more friends in the European Parliament!