RIYADH, Saudi Arabia: The industrialized world should prioritize investments in capturing carbon gas from industrial emissions in the same way that it promoted energy efficiency after the oil price shock of 1973, the International Energy Forum (IEF) says in a new report published today.
Massive deployment of carbon capture, which collects the CO2 from waste gas produced by burning fossil fuels, is seen as critical to having any chance of meeting the Paris climate goals to limit global warming.
The IEF report entitled: "Strategies to Scale Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS)" was published ahead of a High-Level Roundtable on September 27, which brings together top government officials and experts from Europe, United States, and the Middle East Gulf to explore how to fast-track the technologies.
"Governments must urgently give the green light to carbon management technologies if we are to have any chance of achieving the Paris commitments on global warming and climate change," said Joseph McMonigle, Secretary General of the IEF. "This report is a wake-up call for much more attention to this vital technology," he added.
Experts estimate that CCUS capacity needs to grow from 40 million tons today to at least 5,600 million tons by 2050 to meet the Paris goals of limiting global warming to 1.5 to 1.0 degrees by 2050. CCUS has the potential to account for one fifth of the CO2 emissions cuts required by 2050 to meet the target of "net zero", the report finds.
Once the CO2 is captured, CCUS involves injecting it into geological structures for permanent storage or transforming it into manufactured products like plastics or concrete.
The report points to the critical role of market forces in bringing CCUS to scale and highlights the need for measures to de-risk CCUS finance and incentivize clustering in industrial parks to improve economies of scale and synergies across different industries.
CCUS must become incorporated into large-scale industrial planning, national recovery plans, Environmental, Social and Governance standards and Nationally Determined Contributions for countries as they plot their pathways to net zero, the report says.
More research and development are also needed, particularly in the field of carbon use.
The IEF is positioned to play an important role in promoting CCUS strategies, the report says, by leveraging its platform for international dialogue to support investment and accelerate wider deployment.
Enhancing market transparency with reliable, comprehensive, and timely data will be critical to reduce volatility and incentivize investment in CCUS, the report says.