Does the UK need BECCS to reach net zero?

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26 February, 2024


To reach net zero emissions by 2050 the UK will have to use greenhouse gas removal (GGR) measures.

UK policy makers have so far relied on something called bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) ie burning plant material, or biomass, which generates power and then captures the resulting CO2 emissions. It has focused on converting power stations such as Drax in Yorkshire (known as ‘power BECCS’).

But the use of biomass for power has been criticised for its negative environmental impacts.

In this briefing we highlight other GGR options that could reach a similar scale and cost effectiveness with less environmental impact. We make recommendations about how to ensure the UK pursues sustainable greenhouse gas removal, even if power BECCS is used.


James Elliott, senior policy adviser,

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