n 2015, the government cancelled its £1bn competition to build a large-scale model of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, breaking a Conservative election pledge. Last month, a new centre was built in Cambridge with the aim of working out how we remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Sir David King, who is coordinating the Centre for Climate Repair project, said at the time: “What we continue to do, what we do that is new, and what we plan to do over the next 10 to 12 years will determine the future of humanity for the next 10,000 [years].” If proven to work, CCS technology could quickly be adopted by other countries and many scientists are urging the government to invest as quickly as possible. David Reay, professor of carbon management and education at the University of Edinburgh, says the first CCS schemes should be up and running by the mid 2020s. He says: “CCS will be absolutely vital [to reaching net zero], not just for the UK’s net zero target, but also for the global fall to zero carbon dioxide emissions that is needed by the middle of the century. “Fossil fuels will still be burnt around the world for years to come, so the faster we can roll out CCS at scale in the UK, the faster it can then be adopted by other nations and we can finally get emissions heading down instead of up.” Professor Jon Gibbins, director of the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre says spending money on types of CCS is likely to give “an infinitely greater return in terms of influencing global outcomes” than other types of expenditure on CO2 emission activities. He says the UK is only going to get to net zero if the rest of the world agrees to make ambitious promises. This is why new CCS technologies such as direct air capture (DAC) should be invested in quickly. Unless technology is created that other countries – especially developing nations – can use, the UK target could look quite “parochial”.
Independent 15th June 2019 read more »