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Circular Carbon Economy

The Circular Carbon Economy

Carbon Management

To ensure a transition to sustainable, climate-neutral growth by mid-century, carbon management solutions will be essential to complement renewables and electrification.

Carbon management solutions can take two forms. First, nature-based solutions such as afforestation or second, engineered solutions that capture, store, and/or use carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Carbon Capture Use and Storage

Engineered solutions aim to control anthropogenic releases of CO2 through technology. One such technology is Carbon, Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS). The process involves capturing CO2 emissions from hydrocarbon production, power plants, and from heavy industry such as steel and cement manufacturing.

Most CCUS facilities existing today globally are tied to natural gas processing and made economically viable through enhanced oil recovery (EOR). CCUS projects currently under construction will lead to the creation of industry clusters through pooling CO2 streams from energy generation, industrial processes and manufacturing.

Notwithstanding market hurdles and public acceptance issues, key international organizations cite the importance of CCUS as a critical solution to achieving net-zero climate strategies.

Today, about 40 million metric tons (Mt) of carbon is captured per year. To reach climate goals, CCUS deployment must reach at least 5.6 Gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 annually, according to the Global CCS Institute (GCCSI), accounting for a fifth of emissions reductions needed by 2050.

Without CCUS, the cost of energy sector transitions could increase by more than 70 percent and several countries view CCUS as a "mitigation and adaptation" technology as was highlighted at the US Summit on Climate Change on 22-23 April 2021.

Many industry-scale CCUS projects will have to enter operation to facilitate the launch of new energy carriers such as hydrogen, and reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from hard to abate sectors.

CCUS projects require far greater government support to accelerate economy-wide deployment.

IEF Engagement on the CCE: CCUS, Hydrogen and Carbon Markets

Since the IEF convened the 2nd High-Level Dialogue on Strategies to Scale CCUS in collaboration with Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) on 16 February 2023, IEF has consulted on next steps to accelerate the Circular Carbon Economy.

This includes advancing CCUS and Hydrogen CCE solutions in various IEF dialogue meetings and promoting greater engagement on government strategies and industry investment including, at the Clean Energy Ministerial dialogue sessions prior to the G20 Energy Transitions Meeting hosted by India on 22 July 2023, and the IEF-KAPSARC Thought Leaders' Roundtable on the Role of Clean Hydrogen and CCUS, and various engagements at UN MENA Climate Week hosted by Saudi Arabia on 8-12 October 2023.

The IEF continues to pursue a comprehensive dialogue on CCE solutions that CCUS and Clean Hydrogen provide with IEF member countries and knowledge partners and has supported the launch of the Carbon Management Challenge at COP28. The IEF is actively supporting the Circular Carbon Economy Regional Collaboration, under the auspices of the Middle East Green Initiative, and has published two reports on CCUS regulations and market assessment in the MENA region and beyond.

To allow producers and consumers to move carbon abatement from the mega to the giga order of magnitude, and narrow global divides, the IEF has also focused attention on the role of carbon markets, and in particular voluntary carbon markets, to mobilize climate finance and accelerate clean technology deployment worldwide.

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