The burning of fossil fuels and deforestation have had devastating effects on our climate and global warming. It is scientifically irrefutable that we risk vast social and economic cost from an increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events if we do not act immediately. Governments and communities are coming together to combat climate change, adapt to its effects and implement the Paris Agreement – to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The European Commission President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, has highlighted that “Our most pressing challenge is keeping our planet healthy. This is the greatest responsibility and opportunity of our times. I want Europe to become the first climate-neutral continent in the world by 2050”.
CCS is a cross-sector solution essential to achieving climate neutrality in many sectors including power and industry. Low-carbon hydrogen production enabled by CCS also has the potential to decarbonise these sectors in addition to reducing emissions from the heating and transport sectors. CO2 can also be reused as a component when producing for example concrete, steel and biofuel – this is known as Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU).
For Europe to reach climate-neutrality by 2050; renewables, nuclear power and energy efficiency, although important, will not be enough. CCS and CCU will be essential for the European transition to net neutrality, ensuring that power generation and industrial processes are secure, reliable and sustainable.