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EU moves closer to unlocking carbon capture and storage for industrial decarbonisation

December 7, 2023 Work Area: Carbon Capture

Brussels – Today, the Council of the European Union has adopted its general approach on the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA), further cementing the importance of carbon capture and storage in achieving Europe’s climate targets. 

“A CO2 storage obligation on the oil and gas sector can significantly support the decarbonisation of European industries,” said Eadbhard Pernot, CATF’s Policy Manager, Carbon Capture. “It ensures that the sector that has long heralded the potential of carbon capture and storage, which has the needed expertise and resources, must now deliver on it.” 

Relevant carbon capture and storage related highlights from the agreed deal: 

  1. An EU CO2 storage target. The Council preserved the Commission proposal to have an EU target of 50Mt of CO2 in annual injection capacity by 2030. This target is key to ensure that sufficient storage will be available on time and that the EU develops its own storage capacity.  
  1. Obligation on oil and gas producers. The Council kept the obligation of this target on the oil and gas industry, as the oil and gas sectors have the technology and resources to put CO2 back in the ground permanently. 
  1. The inclusion of CO2 transport. The Council expanded the NZIA scope to CO2 transport, ensuring that the CO2 infrastructure projects necessary for the transport of captured CO2 to storage sites are covered. 

Today’s agreement follows 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.  

It is also worth noting that, on the topic of carbon capture and storage, there is a high degree of harmony between the Council decision taken today and the deal reached in the European Parliament Committee on Industry last month

The measures in NZIA plan to tackle bottlenecks in the development of CO2 storage in particular, which CATF also outlined in a report published in July. Developing transport and storage infrastructure is particularly important to ensure cost reductions for European industries.

“We welcome the ambition shown by the Council with the CO2 storage obligation,” said Alessia Virone, Government Affairs Director, Europe. “This measure will support the uptake of carbon capture and storage infrastructure across Europe, going beyond the North Sea, and help industries across Europe to access CO2 storage at reasonable costs”. 

CATF also welcomes the 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 EU institutions will now move to trilogues, starting next week in Strasbourg. They are all committed to finishing the negotiations on the NZIA during this legislative term. 

Press Contact   

Julia Kislitsyna, Communications Manager, Europe, [email protected], +4915116220453 

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 adv

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