EU Funding towards CO2-Capture may spur Agreement on the 2030 Climate and Energy Package

Publish date: June 25, 2014

“Europe-backed finance for CO2 capture and storage (CCS) technologies may help seal a European Union climate-protection deal by October” believes Ed Davey, the UK energy and climate secretary of state. Davey, moreover, calls for the rapid deployment of CCS to attain climate change objectives cost-effectively.

With Russia’s annexation of Crimea we have seen energy security being pushed up the EU’s political agenda as the 28 Member States deliberate on a plan to reduce reliance on natural gas from the Moscow-controlled OAO Gazprom. Simultaneously, the Member States plan to finalise the 2030 Climate and Energy Package by October 2014, laying out targets that include reducing emissions by 40% by 2030 from 1990 levels.

Poland, which relies on coal for more than 80% of its electricity and power generation, has suggested that the EU proceed at a slower pace with regards to climate change mitigation measures. In the opinion of Pawel Smolen, president of EURACOAL “de-carbonisaton means de-electrification, which is impossible”. Davey rightly recognises this to be incorrect, and that an EU-wide solution to supporting CCS development in Poland or elsewhere is essential as part of a package to tackle coal emissions.

A report of the International Energy Agency (IEA) states that annual spending on low-carbon technologies and energy efficiency needs to double to about EUR 580 billion by 2020 from 2013 levels to keep temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Moreover, according to the IEA, delayed CCS deployment would increase the cost of power sector decarbonisation globally by EUR 1 trillion through 2035 and result to lost sales of fossil-fuel producers. Therefore, Davey urges the early deployment of CCS in order to attain a low-carbon world by 2050 cost-effectively.

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