Last chance for coal - making carbon capture and storage a reality

Last chance for coal - making carbon capture and storage a reality

In this collection of viewpoints, Green Alliance reveals the growing support for carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a means of tackling the twin challenges of climate change and energy security. CCS technology appears to be ready, but it must be demonstrated urgently at commercial scale if it is to be deployed more widely in the coming decades.
These essays come from a variety of perspectives – politics, economics, business, unions, academia, think tanks and NGOs – but some important common themes emerge. First among these is that the demonstration of CCS requires dedicated public funding for a programme of different technologies. This is a strategically important undertaking, which must be funded and carried out at European level if it is to succeed. By doing so, the European Union can deliver on its international leadership ambitions, unlocking the potential for action by China and the USA.
But financial support to kick-start a new CCS industry is not in itself sufficient. Europe must reduce carbon emissions and cannot risk the construction of new unabated coal plants while CCS is being demonstrated. This collection therefore also looks in depth at how Europe can follow California’s experience with emissions performance standards. Such an approach would provide regulatory certainty for CCS and secure the future of the EU emissions trading scheme.
Green Alliance argues that funding for CCS demonstrations and the introduction of emissions performance standards must go together.
The time is now for the EU and its member states to act. In our carbon-constrained world CCS provides ‘a last chance for coal’. 
edited by Chris Littlecott
Publication Date:
3 October, 2008

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