Join the Underground – A New CCS Campaign

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


Join the Underground is part of a new campaign to drive greater awareness of carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a pivotal technology in meeting international (Paris) climate change targets.

Because we are a small climate change NGO - self-funded through member subscriptions - we have limited means by which to communicate to audiences, especially through mass-media platforms. However, we do have “memes”.

By definition, a meme is a virally-transmitted cultural symbol or social idea. They carry a thought or idea through a memorable image and strapline.

Over the coming months, we will be releasing a suite of memes to create greater awareness of the important role which CCS plays in tackling climate change.

Notably, these memes will communicate the fact that Paris climate change targets cannot be met without CCS.

This is a fact verified by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and a raft of other highly respected climate change experts and institutions.

We are raising awareness about CCS because its attributes remain largely unknown.

For instance, CCS is:

  • a simple chemical process. It captures CO2 at its industrial emitting source (coal, fertiliser, cement, chemicals, steel, plastics), compressing it, then sending it down a pipeline to an accommodating underground storage site – a porous layer of rock 1-2 km below ground. This rock acts as a sponge, absorbing the CO2 and permanently encasing it beneath the earth;
  • a safe, reliable 45-year old technology. It was conceived at the same time as the Apollo 17 moon landing, and digital watches were invented;
  • a commercially operational technology. Currently, there are 17 large-scale global facilities operating with five more facilities coming on-stream within the next 12-18 months;
  • a low-cost technology: CCS is lower cost than firm renewables in a true low emissions grid when all grid integration costs (battery storage, transmission augmentation, etc) are considered;
  • a pragmatic technology: CCS can be retrofitted to old and aging fossil fuel infrastructure (eg, coal-fired power plants) or incorporated into new-build, high emission industries.

This last point is critical: With more than 1500 new coal-fired power station in construction around the world, CCS can straddle the present while allowing sufficient time for all clean technologies to transition to a sustainable energy future. As world economies continue to rely heavily on fossil energy, CCS is key to decarbonisation.

Our new campaign is designed to create greater awareness and recognition. We hope you will support it by “joining the underground”. You can help by passing on our meme - through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or simply by telling others through day-to-day conversation.

As we began by saying, we have limited means - but we do have the memes.