Realism needed on Carbon Capture and Storage

Sequestering say 20% of current global CO2 emissions requires an industry around 170% the size of the world oil industry. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) may make a significant contribution to addressing climate change, but:

  • not in the short term, to prevent atmospheric carbon concentrations above 450ppm CO2e
  • not at the scale to be the global panacea for coal & gas
  • Extremely dangerous to put all our eggs in the CCS basket, as we are doing
  • Irresponsible to lock-in carbon-ready facilities before viability of CCS at scale is proven
  • Research should be accelerated to prove its real potential we need to keep all our options open, but be objective !

We must have consistent industry & government commitment, support and funding, not lipservice, recognising we need an emergency response if we are serious about addressing climate risk.

CCS is a classic case of Moral Hazard.

The world’s leaders are counting on a fix for climate change that is at best uncertain and at worst unworkable

The Economist, 5th March 2009

Source for graphic: The Ecological Wealth of Nations, Global Footprint Network, 2010