Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is a family of technologies and techniques that enable the capture of COfrom fuel combustion or industrial processes, the transport of CO2 via ships or pipelines, and its storage underground, in depleted oil and gas fields and deep saline formations. CCS can have a unique and vital role to play in the global transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy, in both power generation and industry.

IEA and China host high-level gathering of energy ministers and industry leaders

From left to right: Hon Jim Carr, Minister of Energy, Canada; Hon Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology, China; Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency; Hon Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy, USA; Hon Terje Søviknes, Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Norway (Photograph: IEA) More »»

Making carbon capture and storage more attractive

The Yanchang carbon capture, utilisation and storage project will capture more than 400 000 tonnes of CO2 each year from a coal-chemicals plant (Photograph: Getty Images) More »»

20 Years of Carbon Capture and Storage

CCS today is the only technology able to significantly reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants More »»

IEA hails launch of new Canadian CO2 storage project, first to cut emissions from oil sands

Alberta’s Quest project provides further proof of value of CCS in reducing greenhouse gas emissions More »»

About carbon capture and storage

Current short-, medium- and long-term projections for global energy demand still point to fossil fuels being combusted in quantities incompatible with levels required to stabilise greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations at safe levels in the atmosphere.

All technologies along the CCS chain are known. They have been in operation in various industries for decades, although at relatively small scale. However, for the sole purpose of limiting climate change, these technologies have been put together in industrial scale (>1Mt CO2 captured and stored per year) in only a small number of installations. 

Our focus

CCS is a GHG emissions reduction technology whose deployment is dependent on an enabling policy framework. Given the substantial contribution CCS can potentially make in mitigating the risk of climate change, the quality of the policy matters. The Agency is engaged in analysing and developing options that policy makers can use for promoting safe and accountable CCS and for overcoming barriers to its deployment. This work includes national level CCS-specific policy and global climate policy development.

Fast facts

  • 1/6CCS contributes one-sixth of total CO2 emission reductions required in 2050
  • 14%of the cumulative emissions reductions through 2050 against a business-as-usual scenario (6DS)