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Sustainable Carbon Cycles

Parliament votes on key measures to support the role of carbon capture and storage in industrial decarbonisation

October 25, 2023 Work Area: Carbon Capture

Brussels – Today, the European Parliament Committee on Industry (ITRE) has adopted a position on on the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA), further endorsing the emerging consensus of the vital role of carbon capture and storage in achieving Europe’s climate targets.

“The challenge facing Europe is fundamentally about unlocking the requisite funding, regulatory landscape and large-scale deployment to deliver on climate ambition,” said Lee Beck, Clean Air Task Force’s Senior Director, Europe and Middle East. “Europe needs an options-based strategy to achieve climate neutrality while achieving long-term energy security and economic growth. A well-designed Net-Zero Industry Act can be a conduit for this in many ways.” 

The position adopted by ITRE strengthens the breakthrough measures on carbon capture and storage from the Commission proposal. Led by Christian Ehler (DE, EPP), ITRE has included four key measures for carbon capture and storage deployment in Europe:

  1. An EU CO2 storage target. The ITRE position preserved the Commission proposal to have an EU target of 50Mt of CO2 in annual injection capacity by 2030, but go further by requiring targets for 2035, 2040, and 2050 from the Commission and by promoting geographical spread of storage sites across the Union. This target is key to ensure that sufficient storage will be available on time and that the EU develops its own storage capacity. The Parliament also ensured better monitoring of the progresses achieved towards the target. 
  2. Obligation on oil and gas sellers. The ITRE Committee put the obligation of this target on oil and gas sellers, as the oil and gas sectors have the technology and resources to put CO2 back in the ground permanently, and add the possibility of penalties.
  3. The inclusion of CO2 transport. A major step taken by the Parliament is the expansion of the NZIA scope to CO2 transport, ensuring that the CO2 infrastructure projects necessary for the transport of captured CO2 to storage sites are covered. The Parliament tasked the EU and Member States to ensure the needed investments in CO2 transport infrastructure, including cross- border infrastructure, are being made.   
  4. A fair and competitive CO2 market. The Parliament also added measures on fair and open access to CO2 storage, and gave the Commission 2 years to provide a regulatory framework for a EU CO2 market.

“We got two important additions to the NZIA proposal today. The first is the expansion of the scope to CO2 transport and the measures to ensure the transport infrastructure will be developed on time. The second is that the Parliament aims to ensure open and fair access, transparent pricing, and competitive CO2 markets,” said Alessia Virone, Government Affairs Director, Europe. “The Parliament is also pushing the Commission to draft an additional legislative proposal to regulate CO2 markets, and prevent potential monopolies in the early stages of carbon capture and storage deployment”.

These positions follow on from the broader embrace of carbon capture and storage technology by the European Union in recent years, with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promising a carbon capture, use and storage strategy by the end of her term. This follows CATF’s repeated calls for such a strategy, particularly in its report A Policy Framework for Carbon Capture and Storage in Europe

The measures in NZIA plan to tackle bottlenecks in the development of CO2 storage in particular, which CATF also outlined in a report last year, and which is particularly important to ensure cost reductions for emitters.

“A CO2 storage obligation on the oil and gas sector can significantly aid the decarbonisation of European industries,” said Eadbhard Pernot, CATF’s Policy Manager, Carbon Capture. “We welcome the ambition shown by the Parliament in ensuring industries across the region have access to CO2 storage resources.”

CATF also welcomes to addition of nuclear in the broader selection of clean technology options that member states can use to tackle industrial emissions.

The NZIA was proposed at a crucial time for climate and energy policy in Europe. The EU is not on track to hit 2030 emissions reduction targets and, it is a long way behind on building the clean energy infrastructure needed to decarbonise the entire economy.  The Council still needs to reach its general approach, but the EU institutions are all committed to finish the negotiations on the NZIA during this legislative term.

Press Contact  

Rowan Emslie, Communications Director, EU, [email protected], +32 476-97-36-42  

About Clean Air Task Force  

Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world.

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