Brussels, 17 September 2020 – The European Commission today presented their plan to increase the EU’s 2030 target for emission reduction to at least 55%, up from 40%. This ambitious revision of the target would further support Europe’s commitment to become climate-neutral by 2050, in line with the European Green Deal.

The EU Commission has indicated that carbon capture, utilisation and storage technologies will play an important role in ensuring that a 55% reduction in emissions can be met, particularly as a solution for the industrial transition towards net-zero. CCS and CCU technologies can contribute considerably to reducing emissions from energy-intensive and difficult-to-decarbonise industries, while safeguarding industrial activity, maintaining jobs, and boosting economic growth.

To achieve this large-scale decarbonisation, establishing cross-border CO2 transport infrastructure will be crucial, as it would provide fair access to CO2 storage across all EU member states, creating a level playing field for the decarbonisation of industry and energy sectors. To establish a secure foundation for cross-border CO2 infrastructure and keep momentum, it will be necessary to see strong political support and increased investment from industry.

Developing CO2 transport and storage infrastructure would support projects along the CCS industrial chain and move towards a cleaner, more flexible energy system and a cost-efficient trajectory to climate-neutrality. CO2 infrastructure can also deliver early, large-scale volumes of low-carbon hydrogen produced from reformed natural gas with CCS, which can be used to ensure the decarbonisation of energy-intensive industries where electrification is not possible nor realistic from a cost or a technological viewpoint.

Dr Graeme Sweeney, Chairman of ZEP, stated: “ZEP fully supports the EU Commission’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The measures put in place in the next decade will be critical to determine whether the EU ultimately reaches its 2050 target. Strong political and financial support will be vital to ensure a solid foundation for CCS and CCU technologies, to advance development and testing, and to prepare to scale-up deployment. CCS and CCU are proven technologies, are cost-efficient, available now, and are crucial for Europe to reach net-zero emissions.”

The next step will be for the European Parliament and EU Council of Ministers, representing the EU-27 member states, to discuss and approve the target.