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Carbon Capture limits in combating climate change

Limits of Carbon Capture and Storage in combating climate change

Montreal, Canada - Greenpeace today welcomed a Special Report on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calling it a long awaited clarification of the limits of the technology as a means to combat climate change.

The report, which studies the options for capturing CO2 from fossil fuel and storing or disposing of it under the ground or oceans, was formally accepted at a meeting of Working Group III of the IPCC in Montreal on 24 September (1).

"This report confirms what we already suspected' said Greenpeace Germany Climate and Energy Campaigner Gabriela von Goerne. "There are still far too many questions about environmental risk, safety and costs for CCS to be deployed on a scale that would make it economically viable"

"It will simply not be ready in time to provide us with the huge near term emissions cuts that we need in order to avoid catastrophic climate change"

The report found that the most effective use of CCS could be in the electricity sector but that this technology would likely only be deployed at a large scale in the second half of this century.

"It seems ironic that this technology, which is so frequently promoted by some governments and industries as part of a 'voluntary' package to replace the Kyoto Protocol, can only succeed within a mandatory 'cap and trade' regime that would keep the price of carbon high" said von Goerne.

"CCS might be an option in the future when all the questions have been answered and problems ironed out but there is an urgent need for immediate action. That action should be the massive and widespread deployment of available renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies combined with energy conservation," she added.

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