Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a vital lifeline to beat climate change, a raft of international ambassadors have said in a major report released today at the United Nation’s 24th Conference of Parties (COP24).

Speaking at the launch of its flagship report, the Global Status of CCS: 2018, in Katowice, Poland, the Global CCS Institute said the most recent and reputable information confirms that the world is way-off in meeting Paris targets and CCS must be deployed alongside other clean technologies if continued meteorological uncertainty is to be avoided.

This fact is supported in the report by 18 diverse proponents of CCS including 17-year-old polar explorer Jade Hameister, the youngest person to ski to the North Pole (14), the South Pole (16) and traverse the Greenland icecap (15).

She said, “Carbon capture and storage is one of the stand-out technologies that exists today. It will form part of the solution and must be pursued as if our lives depend on it – because they do.”

Hameister said she is very likely the only person of her generation to have first-hand experience in witnessing the tragic damage that global warming is doing.

“I now feel a deep emotional connection with our planet Earth and a responsibility to play my part in addressing climate change before it’s too late.”

Speaking at the report launch, Grantham Institute Chair, Lord Nicholas Stern, said more and more people are seeing the practicality and importance in deploying CCS as the one technology proven to decarbonise “difficult” sectors such as cement and steel and “locked-in” fossil fuel-based infrastructure.

“Another refreshing development has been the capacity for the private sector, mayors, multinationals, even the media, to start putting their weight behind the technology.”

Global CCS Institute CEO, Brad Page, said there is now a wealth of evidence to support the need for CCS – from the IEA to the IPCC.

“The IPCC’S 1.5°C report reinforces the role which carbon capture and technology must play in beating climate change. Significantly, it references CCS in three of the four pathways used to reach 1.5°C and is singled out for its ability to play a major role in decarbonizing the high emitting industrial sector.”

Page said it was important that everyone working across the climate and energy spheres acknowledged - as the IPCC does - that all clean technologies are necessary.

“It is now irrefutable that Paris targets can only be achieved by embracing a complete cache of clean solutions – of which CCS must be one.”

Key quotes from the report

  • Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, “The IEA has highlighted that as much as 450 Mt of CO2 could be captured, utilised and stored globally with a commercial incentive as low as US$40 per tonne of CO2.”
  • Professor Wallace Smith Broecker, father of the phrase “global warming”, “The no-brainer is to funnel CO2 to a place where the sun doesn’t shine, deep below ground; the simple, proven process of carbon capture and storage.”
  • Senator John William Warner, former Secretary of the US Navy (former sponsor of the Lieberman-Warner climate bill), “Climate change is one of the most dangerous security threats of our time. Carbon capture and storage certainly plays an important role in delivering deep emissions cuts to prevent global warming.”
  • Archbishop Serafim Kykotis, Greek Orthodox Patriarch and head of the Department of Climate Crisis and Sustainable Development Goals of the UN, “Proven by science, commercial application and common sense, CCS must form a vital part in our climate change response. We need to look at every solution. All beliefs are legitimate.” 
  • Paul Atkins, Award Winning Cinematographer (Master and Commander, The Tree of Life), “Carbon can be re-imagined as resource, mined from the sky or industrial sources and sequestered or turned into carbon products.”
  • Newton B Jones International President of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, “The opportunities for CO2 mitigation, job creation and economic growth surrounding CCS globally are staggering.”
  • US Senator for North Dakota, Heidi Heitkamp, “2018 has become the year of actions on Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage.”
  • Dr Niall Mac Dowell, Leader of the Clean Fossil and Bioenergy Research Group, Imperial College, London, “CCS doesn’t so much cost money as make money!”
  • Barney Swan, International Director, ClimateForce, “Connecting both the corporate world and everyday people to projects like CCS will spread awareness to investors, managers and the public.”
  • Ben Houchen, Mayor of Tees Valley, UK, “The delivery of CCS can facilitate a revolution in clean transport and in the way many people heat their homes without significant changes to existing road, rail and gas infrastructure.”