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Publication Detail
The role of CCS in meeting climate policy targets: understanding the potential contribution of CCS to a low carbon world, and the policies that may support that contribution
Abstract
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) refers to a set of technologies that may offer the potential for large-scale removal of CO2 emissions from a range of processes – potentially including the generation of electricity and heat, industrial processes, and the production of hydrogen and synthetic fuels. CCS has both proponents and opponents. Like other emerging low carbon technologies, CCS is not without risks or uncertainties, and there are various challenges that would need to be overcome if it were to be widely deployed. Policy makers’ decisions as to whether to pursue CCS should be based on a judgement as to whether the risks and uncertainties associated with attempting to deploy CCS outweigh the risks of not having it available as part of a portfolio of mitigation options, in future years. On the basis of the available evidence, our headline conclusions are that: • The risks of CCS not being available as part of a portfolio of mitigation options to address climate policy targets are greater than the risks associated with attempting to develop it. • In particular CCS should be considered a critically important part of any strategy for limiting temperature rise to 2°C, and even more so for limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C. • Pursuing CCS requires a whole-chain, innovation systems approach, including coordination of actors and infrastructure. • There is an important active role for governments in such an approach. • Legislative and regulatory frameworks are crucial, but CCS systems are still emerging – hence review and adaptation are important. • The process of policy development and CCS implementation should be supported by robust and transparent risk management practices, reflecting and building on those employed to date, and by genuine public engagement. Critical issues include transparently verifying that CO2 can be safely stored in any given project, and demonstrating the full life cycle sustainability of biomass used in BECCS applications, including with appropriate certification processes. • CCS should be seen as an important component of a portfolio of mitigation strategies. Other low-carbon supply side technologies will also make critical contributions, and increasing energy and material efficiency is likely to be a key “no-regrets” option.
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Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources
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Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources
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