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Bold policy commitments required to meet Paris climate targets

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Bold policy commitments from political leaders are the only route to achieving the ambitious targets of the Paris Climate Agreement, according to Brad Page, Chief Executive Officer of the Global CCS Institute.

With 155 countries indicating their intention to sign the historic agreement, Page has called for urgent action to address carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through proven carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

"In order to meet these demanding climate targets in the real world, we've got to reduce emissions from every possible sector of the global economy, and we've got to do it urgently and without bias," said Page.

"All low carbon technologies must be part of the conversation – including renewables, nuclear power, energy efficiency, and CCS.

"Achieving these ambitious targets will require many acts of political courage over the next three decades, and an unwavering commitment to deep international collaboration on technological advancement, policy design, and funding.

"Globally, more than 2400 new coal-fired power stations are already planned for construction by the year 2030. This says nothing of the hundreds of existing facilities that will still be in operation for the coming decades ahead. CCS is vital to limiting the emissions that are effectively already locked in by these facilities."Even replacing unabated coal power with gas is insufficient for the world to limit greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to meet its own nominated targets. Gas-fired power plants still require CCS in order to realise their full emissions reduction potential.

"In light of these realities, it's important to acknowledge that global CCS investment since 2007 has been less than US$20billion.

"For the sake of comparison, renewable power generation technologies have benefitted from investment of around 100 times that amount over the same period, due to policy disparity.

"Outside of the power sector, one quarter (25%) of the world's CO2 emissions result from industrial sectors such as iron and steel, cement, petrochemicals refining, and chemicals and fertiliser manufacturing.

"CCS is the only technology that can achieve large reductions in emissions from these industrial processes.

"As we have seen from the success of the COP21 negotiations, the only way the world will achieve effective action on climate change is through a determined long term commitment to international collaboration."

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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