The World Coal Association (WCA) has published a new report highlighting the importance of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to an effective climate agreement at COP21 in Paris, France.

The report provides an overview of the development of CCS technology so far and calls for key policy initiatives to support the greater global deployment of CCS technology.

Titled Carbon Capture and Storage – The vital role of CCS in an effective COP21 agreement, it’s key policy recommendations include:

  • Policy parity – CCS must receive the same policy support that has benefitted renewable technologies in recent decades, to facilitate the lowest cost pathway to decarbonisation.
  • Governments must articulate how they plan to drive CCS deployment beyond the demonstration phase towards commercialisation.
  • Solutions to reducing emissions will require global action, requiring international incentives.

Benjamin Sporton, WCA Chief Executive, said of the importance of CCS, “In building a low-emission energy future, policy makers do not have the luxury of picking and choosing technology ‘winners’. All technologies, including CCS, are required to build a resilient energy system and to meet climate objectives.”

Widening deployment

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has highlighted that coal will have a central role to play in energy generation and in industries such as steel production for decades to come.

Even under the IEA’s New Policy Scenario, which assumes all government promises on funding renewables and building nuclear power plants are implemented, coal consumption is set to increase by around 14.5% through to 2040 – and there is little change in the global energy mix.

This, the WCA says, highlights the increasing importance of CCS and widening its deployment.

coal mining industry

 

Sporton added, “It is clear that with the on-going role of coal, we need to focus on widening the deployment of all low emission technologies. Studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have previously suggested that climate action would be 138% more expensive, if not impossible, without widespread deployment of carbon capture and storage technology.”

“It is vital that CCS receives the funding, tax credits and policy support provided to renewable energy. Consistent policy and support frameworks will ensure economic viability of the CCS industry and enhance the economic competitiveness of countries’ industrial sectors and energy systems,” he added.