Holding oil and gas producers for the development of carbon capture capabilities is an essential part of ensuring a rapid and just energy transition. As EU Member States continue their negotiations on the EU Net Zero Industry Act, a coalition of NGOs has signed an open letter calling on Member States to protect Article 18 and hold oil and gas producers responsible for providing CO2 storage capacity by 2030.
Article 18 is an unprecedented proposal from the European Commission to place responsibility on oil and gas producers to provide CO2 storage injection capacity, relative to their share of EU production between 2020-2023. It is applying the logic of Extended Producer Responsibility that those most responsible for the climate emergency must pay for decarbonization.
The organizations that have signed the letter are Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G), European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Climate Action Network Europe, World Wide Fund For Nature, European Policy Office (WWF EPO), Bond Beter Leefmilieu, Fundación Ecología y, Desarrollo (ECODES), Bellona Europa, Clean Air Task Force, Carbon Balance Initiative, Carbon Gap, Carbon-Free Europe, 1.5°Ventures, Climate Strategy, Directors of Oxford Net Zero, University of Oxford.
The letter highlights that the pressure from public finances should be alleviated and instead go to oil and gas producers who must be required to deliver the proposed contribution on their own account. Dissuasive penalties or fines in case of non-compliance must also be introduced.
“For decades, the oil and gas sector has promoted carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a solution to avoid CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere. Now that the EU is introducing regulation to make them deliver storage capacity for industries generating truly unavoidable emissions, the oil and gas sector is blocking progress. The sector cannot be allowed to continue making future promises of CCS to justify business as usual, as has been the case in the past,” states the open letter.
The organizations also express their concerns by the moves from some EU Member States to shield the sector from paying up for the pollution they cause or proposing to weaken or delete Article 18. Therefore, it is fair and in due time for the sector to deliver CO2 injection capacity or the solution they long hail as a viable decarbonization pathway.