Government policy instruments could reduce barriers to the implementation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) to reduce emissions, particularly when it comes to retrofitting existing fossil fuel infrastructures.
A brief by the Global CCS Institute published in response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III Report: Mitigation of Climate Change published on 4 April has named financial instruments such as emission certification and trading, legally enforced emission restraints, and carbon pricing as assisting in the implementation of CCS.
The IPCC report in its summary for policymakers named CSS as an option for assisting with the reduction of emissions by retrofitting existing structures with CSS, along with a reduction in the use of fossil fuels, a switch to low carbon fuels, and the cancellation of new coal installations.
The Global CCS Institute claimed an ‘unfair comparison’ between the rapid adoption of low-carbon technologies such as solar and wind and the comparably slower adoption of CSS technologies.
“From a purely economic perspective, wind and solar produce a valued commodity — electricity. CCS instead avoids the damage of CO2 being released into the atmosphere, and unless there is a monetary value associated with this action, there will be inherent economic and deployment limitations,” said the brief.
In response, the Global CSS institute pointed to the proposed US offering of nationwide tax credits for carbon dioxide capture projects and, in Canada, benefits for low-carbon fuel standards as examples of incentivising policies.
The IPCC Summary for Policymakers reports mentions the use of CCS could mean fossil fuels would be used longer, reducing ‘stranded’ fossil fuel infrastructure.
The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has identified CCS as a ‘priority low emissions technology’ under its Technology Investment Roadmap.
A commercial CCS project by Gorgon in Western Australia has been criticised as a ‘scam’, allowing fossil fuel companies to profit without reducing emissions, as reported in Crikey last year.