In a report released yesterday, April 5th, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirmed the importance of carbon capture and removal in meeting 2050 climate goals as set out by the Paris Agreement.

The report, entitled WGIII Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change, intends to outline the essential role that carbon capture and removal technologies must play in managing emissions from existing industrial facilities and power plants. 

Commenting on the report, Madelyn Morrison, External Affairs Manager, Carbon Capture Coalition (CCC) emphasised the importance of using such technology to offset emissions from hard-to-abate heavy industry, aviation and other sectors before eventually removing legacy carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the atmosphere. 

“To achieve carbon capture and removal at climate scale, Congress must deliver the full portfolio of federal policy support for carbon management in any forthcoming budget reconciliation legislation,” she added. 

This support would take the form of a direct pay option for the 45Q tax credit, a ten-year extension of the commence construction window, increased credit values for industry, electric power and direct air capture (DAC) technologies and reduced annual CO2 capture thresholds to boost innovation and expand eligibility. 

Combined with increased infrastructure investments, this could result in a 13-fold increase in carbon management capacity and an annual CO2 emission reduction of 210-250m metric tonnes by 2035, according to Morrison. 

Referring to the IPCC report as ‘an urgent call to action’, she reiterated the importance of Congress improving the 45Q tax credit to help deploy carbon capture and utilisation technologies. 

“We cannot afford to delay economy-wide commercial deployment of carbon management technologies and infrastructure, if mid-century global temperature targets are to remain within reach.”

The IPCC stated that GHG emissions must peak by 2025, and can be nearly halved this decade.

The ‘now or never’ approach being taken by the IPCC could be impacted by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has caused a global ripple effect across the oil and gas industry.

Fossil-fuel intensive sectors are now clamouring to end reliance on Russian gas and find alternative sources.

Although long-term solutions may lie in green energy such as hydrogen and biofuels, many countries are considering scaling up fossil fuels, which has prompted the IPCC to emphasise that increasing fossil fuel usage would decrease the likelihood of reaching 1.5C climate targets.