Clean Air Task Force

Shortcut Navigation:
Switch Styles:

Fossil Transition

CATF's Fossil Transition Project is working to rapidly apply CCS technologies in the U.S. and China in the following ways:

  • Strengthen laws and regulations to clean up coal and implement carbon capture and storage.
  • Identify RD&D needs.
  • Nurture a growing CCS industry.
  • Support projects that seek to install CCS.
  • Promote collaboration between U.S. and Chinese businesses on CCS and cleaner coal.
  • Communicate the status of CCS to the public.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is one of the most important technologies for averting the worst aspects of climate change. That's because fossil fuel use is growing worldwide, not declining:

  • In the last few years alone, China has built more new coal plants than exist across the United States. By 2015, China will have more than three times more coal plants than the United States.
  • The Energy Information Agency predicts that world fossil use will increase 50% by 2035.
  • Natural gas use in the United States will increase as a result of recent development of "unconventional gas" deposits.

At the same time, the urgency of addressing climate change is growing. Surface temperatures in 2010 tied 2005 as the highest on record. The past decade from 2001 to 2010 was the warmest recorded. As a consequence of warming, the Earth's climate is changing. Arctic sea ice is retreating, ice sheets and glaciers are melting, and the global sea level has risen.

These facts underscore the need for CCS. It's effective because it can capture up to 90% of the CO2 from these major coal and gas sources. The technology is scalable, and its individual components have been available for decades.

But for CCS technology to become widely used, regulations that limit carbon dioxide must be adopted for plants that use coal and gas. And for all its benefits, CCS and other low-carbon technologies like nuclear and wind, cost more than near term electricity production prices. This web site describes technological status and costs of each of its components, the policies needed to advance CCS, and the global strategy needed to lower costs.

The Clean Air Task Force is an independent environmental organization not funded by industry or government. Our Fossil Transition Project provides objective analysis of coal policy and technology, and advances environmentally responsible coal policy.