On 24 September 2014, MEP Judith Kirton-Darling hosted a Breakfast Briefing in the European Parliament on Carbon Capture & Storage and Energy security, which was co-hosted by MEP Krišjānis Kariņš and organised by the Zero Emissions Platform (ZEP).

The programme included the following speakers: MEP Jude Kirton-Darling (S&D, UK); Paula Abreu-Marques, Head of Unit Renewables and CCS Policy, DG Energy (European Commission); Dr Graeme Sweeney, Chairman of ZEP; Dr Reinhold Elsen, Vice Chair ZEP and Vice President Research & Development, RWE; Dzintars Kauliņš, Energy Counsellor at the Latvian Permanent Representation to the EU; Jonas Helseth, Director at The Bellona Foundation; and MEP Krišjānis Kariņš (EPP, LV). Download the event report below.


MEP Jude Kirton-Darling (S&D, UK) praised the achievements of ZEP, stressing that it is a key platform to support the CCS agenda. She called on the members of ZEP to continue their efforts to raise awareness on CCS in the recently renewed European Parliament, especially ahead of the upcoming debates on the 2030 energy and climate package.

Paula Abreu-Marques, Head of Unit Renewables and CCS Policy, DG Energy (European Commission) welcomed the continuation of the European Parliament’s interest in CCS. Furthermore, she stressed that CCS must remain a key component in Europe’s energy security strategies, as it is offers the solution to maintain a diversified energy mix while supporting Europe’s climate commitments. She called on the Informal Energy Council and on the European Council to extend their support to CCS within the 2030 discussions, adding that the role of Member States and of the private sector will be key to enabling the deployment of CCS.

Dr Graeme Sweeney, Chairman of ZEP, highlighted the contribution of CCS to a secure, affordable and sustainable European energy system. Calling for a robust CO2 price, Dr Sweeney stressed that CCS will be key to meeting the 2050 climate objectives in a cost effective way, while helping to maintain jobs and industrial basis in Europe. He called on the European institutions to renew their support to CCS in order to give Europe its leadership back, stressing that regions such as Canada have now overtaken Europe in terms of CCS deployment.

Dr Reinhold Elsen, Vice Chair ZEP and Vice President Research & Development, RWE Generation, emphasised that CCS is an essential technology to reconcile EU energy security with Europe’s energy and climate protection objectives.  arning against the risks of keeping a «business as usual» model, Dr Elsen underlined that CCS is the lowest cost route for decarbonising Europe, according to ZEP’s latest market modelling. Stating that coal- and gas-fired power plants will continue to play a major role in the EU energy mix, he called for a long-term partnership between fossil fuels and renewable energy sources to be ensured by further developing and deploying CCS. For not missing the window of opportunity of CCS, he emphasised the need for sound market conditions, transitional support measures as well as strategic planning of large scale Europe-wide CO2 infrastructure.

Dzintars Kauliņš, Energy Counsellor at the Latvian Permanent Representation to the EU, described the completion of the European Internal energy Market, the European Energy Security Strategy and the 2030 energy and climate framework as the three tentative priotirites within the energy policy of the upcoming Latvian Council Presidency. While recognising the role of CCS within the 2020 energy and climate package, Mr Kauliņš stressed that the presence of  three different targets ended up diluting support for CCS. He highlighted that more support for CCS would be easier to achieve in case of a single CO2 target for 2030.

Jonas Helseth, Director at The Bellona Foundation, outlined why an environmental NGO sees the rollout of CCS in Europe as necessary to reach Europe’s energy and climate targets. He stressed the potential of both CCS and renewables in addressing the climate change challenges while generating economic benefits for Europe. He further made the point that CCS is the only technology that can reduce inherent emissions of energy intensive industries as well as lead to carbon negative emissions in combination with sustainable bioenergy, highlighting ZEP’s two reports on these areas.

Closing the debate, MEP Krišjānis Kariņš (EPP, LV) stressed the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While recognising the potential of renewables in addressing climate change, he stressed that CCS will allow for the use of a more diversified energy mix while making progress towards reaching Europe’s climate objectives. Concluding that CCS must benefit from a high carbon price, he questioned how far public intervention can go in terms of modifying the current state of the EU ETS and called for a broad and integrated vision of the future EU energy and climate policy framework, including economic parameters and industrial competitiveness.