General News - 18 Oct 2021

COP26 events shine light on important role of CCS/CCUS in climate action

Authors: Philippa Parmiter, Virginia Marsh (SCCS)


UN climate change conference COP26 will take place in Glasgow, Scotland this year from 31 October to 12 November. Overwhelming numbers of diverse and inclusive events are taking place in-person, online and in hybrid formats, seeking to involve all in the discussion around saving our plant. Events in the Green Zone – which will run alongside the official proceedings – range from ‘Preserving the Planet – women in agriculture’ to ‘Walrus from space’. And all possible accommodation across Scotland’s Central Belt is booked up!


For CCUS, these are positive times. In Europe, several CCUS/CCS projects are receiving EU Projects of Common Infrastructure funding, including PORTHOS and ATHOS  (Netherlands), Northern Lights (Norway), Ervia (Ireland) and Acorn/CO2 SAPLING (UK). This increased support is mirrored around the world: a new Global CCS Institute report highlights that the CCS project pipeline is growing, as has the number of governments recognising that CCS is a critical part of their long-term emission-reduction strategies.


Additional funding is enabling project progress in Europe. In Norway, Fortum Oslo Varme’s CCS project has moved a step closer to realisation after being shortlisted for financing from the EU’s Innovation Fund while PORTHOS has secured a grant of up to €2.1bn from the Dutch government.


In the UK, a government Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge Fund has awarded £171m to to nine CCS projects, three of them offshore storage sites. And we await with bated breath the announcement at COP26 on which project, or projects, will be selected for the UK Cluster Sequencing Phase 1, enabling their deployment in the mid-2020s.


In the European Pavilion at COP26, there are likely to be at least two official events on CCUS/CCS and how it applies across the decarbonisation space, on top of fringe events. The latter include Decreasing CO2 in the atmosphere: solutions from technology and nature (University of Edinburgh) and the Technology Driving Transition Global Summit (Net Zero Technology Centre) with presentations from ten international research organisations.


This growing recognition that CCS is critical to large-scale emission reduction, and that we need to use a diverse range of activities to take action on climate, means that ECCSEL will have an increasingly pivotal role. Our facilities can support industry and projects to improve efficiency, reduce cost, characterise new storage sites and assess new capture materials.


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