Stakeholders from the Netherlands, Belgium and North-Rhine Westphalia have called on their respective national and regional governments to collaborate on implementing a carbon dioxide (CO2) transport and storage infrastructure that accelerates emission reduction across hard-to-abate industrial sectors.

Released today (14th February), an open letter by a large group of civil society and private sector stakeholders stated the need for heavy industry, amongst other sectors, to transform and align with international and European climate targets. 

With an IPCC Special Report revealing that the next 10 years are ‘crucial’ in the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, lowering emissions in sectors such as industrial manufacturing could have a considerable impact. 

The European Green Deal aims to reduce GHG emissions from the EU by 55% in 2030 and to reach net zero in 2050. 18% of these emissions originate from the production of materials such as steel, cement, lime, ferro-alloys, aluminium and chemicals. 

In addition to being a hub for steel and cement production, the ARRRA (Antwerp-Rotterdam-Rhine-Ruhr Area) cluster produces 40% of all chemicals in Europe. 

The letter calls for companies in the ARRRA cluster to comply with the net-zero and circularity objectives of the European Green Deal and that a renewed joint strategy towards net-zero emissions for all sectors is needed. 

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is stated as a possible solution, as well as electrification with renewable energy and circular production processes – to be achieved partly by utilising the captured carbon. 

The signatories suggested a six-step plan in the appeal: 

· Setting up of a cross-border CO2 transport and storage infrastructure working group to help share information and align a unified vision.

· To explore the full scope of CCS-needs.

· Develop a common legal framework.

· Provide a funding framework.

· Acknowledge and standardise the multi-modal and multi-purpose nature of CO2 transport and storage infrastructure.

· Ensure that infrastructure can be expanded to connect to other industrial clusters.

The letter – published by the Bellona Foundation – can be accessed here.