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Institute hosts COP 18 side event to release CCS white paper from ENGOs

The Global CCS Institute hosted a side event on Tuesday, 4 December at the Diplomatic Club at which a white paper on CCS - Perspectives on Carbon Capture and Storage - was publicly released.

Claude Mandil, former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency and member of the Global CCS Institute’s International Advisory Panel moderated the session, which was very well attended. The event provided an opportunity for internationally-respected Environmental Non-Government Organisations (ENGO) experts to express their views on CCS as a mitigation tool, the capacity of countries to underpin CCS projects with robust scientific, engineering and regulatory practices, and the lessons learnt so far from CCS activities in both developing and developed countries.

The ENGO community represents an important and influential stakeholder in both the national policy development and international climate change negotiating processes and the Institute was very pleased to attend the launch of this important publication. The members include: The Clean Air Task ForceE3GEnvironmental Defense FundGreen AllianceNatural Resources Defense Council(NRDC), The Bellona FoundationThe Climate InstituteThe Pembina InstituteWorld Resources Institute and Zero Emission Resource Organisation.

David Hawkins of NRDC gave a presentation that focused on global fossil fuel lock-in and in particular on coal use lock in, and he also touched upon the work that NRDC is doing in China as China has over 481 GW of new coal-fired generation that is going to be built, compared to the rest of the world only at 58GW. With regard to the ENGO paper, David gave an overview on what the US is doing, particularly focusing on the environmental protection agency. He gave some policy recommendations on several countries including the US, Canada and some developing countries.

Camilla Svendsen Skriung from the Zero Emissions Resource Organisation gave a presentation providing an overview of the ENGO network, a summary of the white paper by the ENGO network on NGO perspectives on CCS (Put the link to the paper here) and focused on the policies on CCS of the EU as a whole, Germany and Norway.

She explained that the goals of the network include:

  • ensuring that CCS is performed and regulated safely, in a manner that protects our climate, human health and the environment
  • pursuing domestic and international policies, regulations and initiatives that enable CCS to deliver on its emissions reduction potential
  • disseminating scientifically-sound and objective information on CCS technology
  • working toward common positions and responses to international developments in the CCS arena
  • working to phase out the construction of new unabated, conventional coal-fired power stations as soon as possible, with CCS playing a part of the solution
  • in developed countries, no new, conventional coal-fired generation should be constructed without CCS
  • working to incorporate CCS in other types of fossil-fired power generation, industrial sectors, and in combination with sustainable biomass.

In addition to her overview of the report she also touched upon public engagement and the important part it plays in successful projects. She emphasised that it is not just the message that project proponents and government give, but also who the messenger is that gives it.

Tore Amundsen, of TCM Mongstad gave an overview of the TCM Mongstad project in Norway. One point he made in the presentation is that they do not think that the focus should be on technology – CCS is technically proven – it is the economic and regulatory frameworks that they see as the challenge with CCS.

Mr Brad Page, CEO of the Global CCS Institute congratulated the ENGO network and gave an update on the global status of CCS and on costs analysis that the Institute has completed on CCS in comparison to other low-carbon technologies. He presented some recommendations for decision-makers which include:

  • climate change legislation must not be delayed
  • in order to achieve emission reductions in the most efficient and effective way CCS must not be disadvantaged
  • funding for CCS demonstration projects should be accelerated
  • expertise and learning must be shared.

  

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Meade Harris

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Meade Harris is the Senior Advisor Capacity Development & Public Engagement, The Americas for the Global CCS Institute based in London.