The Global CCS Institute has welcomed the ratification of the Paris Agreement by two of the world’s biggest emitters, America and China, as a major step forward towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

CEO Brad Page said support from the highest political levels for the agreement’s goal to limit global average temperature rises to well below 2°C was extremely encouraging for the planet’s future health.

“The US and China’s decision will help the world deliver on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change goal of stabilising greenhouse gas emissions at a level that can avoid the impacts of dangerous climate change,” he said.

Brad Page

“The commencement of the Paris Agreement is critical for national policymakers and businesses to give effect and support to delivering nationally based climate mitigation actions.”

“The commencement of the Paris Agreement is critical for national policymakers and businesses to give effect and support to delivering nationally based climate mitigation actions…”

Brad Page, CEO of Global CCS Institute

“In signing the Paris Agreement, more than 180 parties accepted the challenge of the scale of climate action required; enabling the type and scale of domestic support required to make dependable, large-scale, and cost-effective mitigation, including carbon capture and storage (CCS).”

Both the US and China are supporting significant CCS programmes locally in order to manage their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions; while China is also looking to CCS to help better manage its non-CO2 emissions.

“CCS is an essential technology, along with renewables, nuclear and energy efficiency, to help meet the Paris Agreement’s ambition,” Page continued. “It is the only technology capable of achieving deep cuts in emissions from industrial processes such as steel, iron, cement, fertiliser, and gas processing.”

With more than 2,000 new coal-fired power plants planned for construction before 2030, CCS is also required at scale in the power sector as well. To do this, CCS needs policy parity with renewables, he added.

The Paris Agreement needs to be ratified by a further 29 parties, representing around 16% of global greenhouse gas emissions, before it legally commences.