War Kate Abnett
BRUSSELS, June 9 (Reuters) – The European Commission is working on plans to accelerate investment in carbon capture and storage as it prepares to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.
A public consultation on the plans noted that the infrastructure to capture and store CO2 underground, or to use it industrially, has not been developed fast enough due to the high costs of building storage facilities.
To try to boost the sector, the Commission has announced that it will develop a European strategy that includes objectives for 2040 and 2050 in terms of CO2 storage infrastructure or the quality of CO2 and access to carbon capture infrastructure. .
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects originated in the European Union and have a controversial history in countries such as Germany, where states have blocked previous attempts to ground projects.
Some campaign groups opposed the technology on the grounds that it could be used to extend the lives of coal-fired power plants and polluting factories.
However, plans to remove CO2 from the atmosphere have gained momentum again, with countries considering how to achieve net zero emissions, which will require some CO2 removals without being able to reduce their zero CO2 output, such as aviation or agriculture.
„A top priority of EU climate policies is to reduce emissions,” the Commission document says.
The EU already has targets requiring countries to expand forests and other natural ecosystems capable of absorbing and storing CO2.
Brussels proposed in March that the EU should store 50 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030, and said it may need to reach 550 million tonnes by 2050 to reach the goal of net zero emissions.
By comparison, total EU CO2 emissions from energy consumption in 2022 were almost 2.4 billion tonnes, according to Eurostat data.
(Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing in Spanish by Aida Pelez-Fernandez)