IEA/CSLF Report to the Muskoka G8 Leaders’ Summit: Carbon Capture and Storage crucial for mitigating climate change

(Paris) — 14 June 2010

Two years after the G8 leaders commitment to the broad deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) by 2020, significant progress has been made towards commercialisation of CCS technologies. Yet the 2008 Hokkaido G8 recommendation to launch 20 large-scale CCS demonstration projects by 2010 remains a challenge and will require that governments and industry accelerate the pace toward achieving this critical goal. This is one of the main findings of a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), and the Global CCS Institute, to be presented to G8 leaders at their June Summit in Muskoka, Canada.

Analysis has shown that CCS is an essential component of a portfolio of technologies and measures to reduce global emissions and help avoid the most serious impacts of climate change. Together with renewable energy technologies, nuclear energy and greater energy efficiency, CCS contributes significantly to the least-cost route of reducing and stabilising the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Over the past two years, governments have made substantial financial commitments, totalling over USD 26 billion in funding for large-scale, integrated demonstration CCS projects and, by 2020, plan to facilitate the launch of between 19 and 43 of those projects. “This level of commitment is very promising, as government support is vital to helping projects under development overcome the final hurdles,” said IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka. Victor Der, chairman of the CSLF Policy Group, said: “By any measure, governments and stakeholders have made impressive strides toward promoting CCS technologies and encouraging the collaboration and sharing of information necessary to foster the broad, global advancement of CCS. As this report indicates, we are moving steadily from R&D to commercialisation of effective, deployable CCS technologies.

The report integrates a recent study commissioned by the Global CCS Institute, which identified 80 large-scale integrated CCS projects at various stages of development around the world. Five of these are in operation at present, and one new project has been launched and is proceeding to construction and a significant number could well proceed to launching and construction in the coming years. Notable efforts can be found in the United States, Canada, Australia and the European Union, particularly the United Kingdom. Projects are also under development for example in China and the Middle East. “The growing number of projects under development around the world demonstrates that increased action is being taken,” said Nick Otter, chief executive officer of the Global CCS Institute. “Rapid progress towards operation of those projects is now required if CCS is to be on-track for broad deployment by 2020.

The report points to a strong momentum that has been developed over the past two years, due in part to the high-level political focus offered by the G8 and several other countries. Pilot plants have been commissioned, learning from plants in operation has continued and legal and regulatory frameworks have been developed in a number of countries and regions. International collaborative and public outreach activities have increased substantially and the mapping of suitable storage sites is underway in various countries and a guide for CCS-ready plant has been developed.

It is thus essential that governments and industry intensify future collaboration to realise projects under development, and to press for and enable more rapid progress toward the full implementation of the G8 goals. “The report stresses that continued political leadership is essential at both national and international levels. Reaching the G8 goal of broad deployment of CCS by 2020 is achievable, but will be challenging,” Mr. Tanaka highlighted.

The report reiterates that according to the October 2009 IEA CCS Technology Roadmap, around 100 CCS projects will be required globally by 2020, roughly half of them in developing countries. These projects are needed to support the G8 recognition in 2009 of “the broad scientific view that the increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels ought not to exceed 2 degrees C”, which requires limiting the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million.

Since the Gleneagles Summit in 2005, G8 leaders have made a range of recommendations on CCS that, if addressed successfully, would accelerate progress towards its early deployment. Notably, at the Hokkaido Toyako Summit in 2008, they supported "the launching of 20 large-scale CCS demonstration projects globally by 2010, with a view to beginning broad deployment of CCS by 2020".

The IEA and CSLF, with the co-operation of the Global CCS Institute, have been invited by the G8 to report on progress. Because of its crucial role in mitigating climate change, the organisations strongly recommend that CCS be kept on the agendas of high-level energy and climate change discussions, e.g. those of the G8, the G20 and the Major Economies Forum (MEF).

Share

Latest articles