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UK News CCS and climate protection: Europe will not be climate neutral without CO2 capture

14:41  25 may  2020
14:41  25 may  2020 Source:   spiegel.de

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Carbon Capture and Geological Storage . Legal framework. Implementation of the CCS Directive. The transition to a climate - neutral society is both an urgent challenge and an opportunity to build a The EU submitted its long-term strategy to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate

Climate neutrality means your emissions are balanced by methods of removing warming gases from the atmosphere. The UN emissions gap study also showed that the majority of rich countries are not on track to meet their carbon cutting commitments by 2030.

Hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 would soon have to be captured and stored in Europe in order to achieve the climate targets. Researchers expect conflicts within the EU.

  CCS und Klimaschutz: Ohne CO2-Abscheidung wird Europa nicht klimaneutral © Bene_A / Getty Images /

The EU can only achieve its goal of becoming climate neutral in 2050 by removing hundreds of millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is the central result of the "Unconventional Climate Protection" study by the Science and Politics Foundation. It will appear next Monday and is available to SPIEGEL in advance.

Conventional climate protection measures to avoid emissions such as renewable energies or energy efficiency alone are not enough for net zero, write the authors Oliver Geden and Felix Schenuit. In order to compensate for unavoidable residual emissions from air traffic, the steel and cement industry and agriculture, unconventional measures to remove CO2 from the atmosphere would also have to be used - "in the amount of several hundred million tons per year." For comparison: Germany emitted a good 800 million tons of greenhouse gases in 2019.

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Carbon capture and storage ( CCS ) is a method used to reduce the amount of anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide ( CO 2 ) in the atmosphere in an attempt to limit the effects of global climate change.

Carbon Capture and Geological Storage . Legal framework. Implementation of the CCS Directive. The directive on the geological storage of CO 2 (so-called " CCS Directive") establishes a legal No geological storage of CO 2 will be possible without a storage permit. Security of the transport

afforestation alone will not be enough for these enormous amounts, the authors conclude. The forests need a lot of space - and if they rot or the wood is burned, the CO2 bound in them is released back into the atmosphere. Therefore, new technologies should also be used.

The authors include, among other things, the direct separation of CO2 from the air using new types of collectors, such as those developed by the Swiss start-up Climeworks. Or the electricity generation from biomass with subsequent separation and storage of the CO2 from the exhaust gas (BECCS). However, some of the methods mentioned are not yet technically mature or are too expensive.

There is a risk of conflicts between pioneers and laggards in the EU

In addition, distribution conflicts between the member states are inevitable. If potential laggards such as the large coal-fired power company Poland were allowed to be above the zero line with their emissions in 2050, "pioneering states such as Germany, France or Sweden would be required to remove more CO2 from the atmosphere than they emit greenhouse gases", the authors write. They demand that the pioneers be rewarded for this.

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Carbon Capture and Geological Storage . Legal framework. Implementation of the CCS Directive. Fighting climate change and achieving the transition to a climate - neutral society will require significant investments, research and innovation, new ways of producing and consuming, and changes in the

Few companies specialize in carbon removal and the tools they produce are currently still expensive.

This would mean higher costs for the stragglers. In the negotiations at EU level, the government of Poland has recently taken several positions that a national net zero level is hardly imaginable before 2070.

Many Member States have not even developed a strategy for the systematic development of CO2 extraction technologies. Some governments, including those of Germany, France, Austria and Sweden, have already adopted national greenhouse gas neutrality targets. "But none of the countries can yet speak of a national CO2 withdrawal policy," says author Geden in an interview with SPIEGEL.

Only France has already announced that it will use a technological CO2 extraction method to achieve its zero emissions target. However, the government in Paris has so far not specified how the corresponding capacities could be built up and where the CO2 should be stored.

There is massive resistance to CCS in Germany, i.e. the separation and storage of CO2 under the earth's surface. Here, the Federal Council prevented years ago from testing underground storage on a larger scale. "Without CCS," says Geden, "it is virtually impossible to achieve permanent greenhouse gas neutrality."

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