First foot forward: The importance of CCS first-mover projects for accelerating the industrial green transition

Technologies surrounding the capture, transport and storage of carbon (CCS) are recognised as vital for the full decarbonisation of so-called hard-to-abate industries. Key scientific and policy-making bodies such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or the European Commission have deemed CCS to be necessary for achieving the climate transition.1 2 3 The EU’s Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) aims for a yearly CO2 storage capacity target of at least 50 million tonnes per annum by 2030.4 To meet its climate-neutrality targets, the Commission estimates that 280 million tonnes need to be captured by 2040, increasing to 450 – 550 million tonnes by 2050.5 Nearly 50 countries consider CCS part of their approach to reach respective climate goals.6 Given the urgency of the climate crisis, public efforts must leverage CCS deployment to achieve the maximum climate benefit. With limited resources available, these efforts should particularly focus on sectors where alternative decarbonisation options are not feasible.

However, as of 2023, there are only 9 operational carbon capture projects transporting CO2 , and none in the EU. Despite there being many projects in the works: in view of the continent’s climate targets, the current pace is insufficient for reaching our Paris climate targets. This poses the question as to why progress is so slow, and what can be done in order to advance this development.

Interview with Aslak Hellestø, former Business Advisor & Government Relations at Northern Lights

Interview with Vetle Houg, Managing Director at Heidelberg Materials Sement Norway

Read the full brief, in PDF below.

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