Thursday 25 April 2019 12:19 am

Act on carbon capture or face hefty bill, MPs urge government

Follow August Graham
MPa have today hit out at the government’s “vague and ambiguous targets” on carbon capture, and urged it to seize on its benefits.

Carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) is needed to hit the UK’s climate change targets, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee said in a report published this morning.

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The technology traps carbon dioxide, preventing it from entering the atmosphere. It can then lock it into storage or reuse it in industrial processes.

Government support over the last 15 years has been “turbulent”, MPs said, after two major competitions were cancelled late in the day. As a result there are no commercial-scale plants in the country.

If the UK fails to develop CCUS it would double the cost of meeting targets, eating up two per cent of GDP by 2050, the report found.

Labour MP Anna Turley said: “The UK has an opportunity to lead the world in the development of a new CCUS industry. In addition to helping to tackle UK carbon emissions, CCUS can play a crucial role in delivering much needed investment in skills and infrastructure and supporting regional growth and jobs.”

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After the two abandoned competitions to develop a CCUS system, MPs urged the government to find an alternative to a third. It recommended that the National Infrastructure Commission, or a third party, should analyse the benefits of CCUS for industrial emissions.

“The current energy minister has been a champion for CCUS, and there have been some encouraging recent developments, but the CCUS industry has been the victim of years of turbulent policy support and suffered a series of false dawns,” Turley said.