Carbon Capture and Storage in the Draft National Energy and Climate Plans

Bellona Europa’s assessment of the draft NECPs’ inclusion of the European Commission’s recommendation on Carbon Capture and Storage 

In this brief, we analyse whether and to what extent Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has been addressed in the latest draft National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs). The NECPs have been updated by EU Member States to reflect increased ambition to tackle climate change and meet the EU’s 2030 climate targets, as a response to new geopolitical and economic realities. The European Commission (EC), in its official recommendation has for the first time highlighted CCS as a key emission reduction tool, urging Member States to detail plans for its contribution. However, as found by Bellona Europa, the analysed NECPs demonstrate low ambition for CCS, with few NECPs outlining concrete measures or earmarked funding to support CCS deployment.

Some countries prioritise CCS for the power sector over hard-to-abate sectors, risking inefficient decarbonisation pathways as well as fostering or in some cases furthering a negative public perception, often associated with such projects, hindering deployment in industries with no alternatives to fully decarbonise. Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) is also often discussed in the NECPs as a preferred technology, failing to consider the lifecycle impacts and permanence of CO2 storage to achieve reductions – in effect not safeguarding CCU’s climate impact. As several Member States are currently in the process of formulating industrial decarbonisation strategies, the EU’s upcoming Industrial Carbon Management Strategy (ICMS) – setting out a strategy for industrial decarbonisation across the EU – should guide targeted CCS applications.

While most analysed NECPs acknowledge CCS’s importance to decarbonise harder-to-abate sectors, final NECPs (to be submitted by June 30, 2024), must provide detailed insights into deployment plans for each element of the CCS value chain, outlining how funding needs are to be met. In this brief, we analyse the extent to which the published draft NECPs deliver on several parameters and criteria for CCS deployment recommended by the European Commission.  

For more information, read the full report.

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