A new study on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has shown that its development has been far too slow to meet 2050 climate goals.
As it appears now, reaching the Paris Agreement target of net-zero emissions by 2050 might prove impossible at the rate at which carbon capture is being deployed around the world.
The study was conducted by scientists from the University of Oxford, University of Edinburgh, and University of Strathclyde. And it assessed the progress of CCS over the past decade.
The findings were quite underwhelming as they showed that although CCS technology is now available and operational at industrial scale, but the rate at which new facilities are being constructed is not fast enough.
According to the study, carbon capture is currently available in all industrial and power generation sectors that require decarbonization, but they will only be able to deliver 10% of what is necessary to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
On the bright side, existing CCS technology is already safely removing millions of metric tons of CO2 from industrial operations every year.
The study also emphasizes the fact that the applications of CCS go beyond just curbing greenhouse gas emissions from gas and coal-powered plants.
Examples of additional usages include making low-carbon hydrogen for heating, producing industrial fertilizers and even capturing existing CO2 emissions from the air.
The research encompassed all planned CCS projects around the world and highlighted the issue that there are no plans that go beyond 2027.
According to the authors, a major reason for this is the lack of market price or reward for storing carbon emissions. They urge governments and global leaders to make more serious efforts in support of CCS and address the issue at the COP26 summit in Glasgow.
In the words of the scientists, carbon capture technology ‘holds immense value in the fight against climate change’.
For the world to reach the Paris Agreement targets, CCS projects will need to be built at 10-50 times the rate they have been constructed so far.