According to a new report, energy firms such as Shell or BP should be required to pay for carbon storage in order to meet global net zero targets.
Scientists from the UK, the Netherlands, and the US argue that firms should be subject to “take back” obligations for their carbon emissions. They also believe that there will need to be a significant increase in carbon capture and storage to meet targets.
Three dilemmas face energy firms, according to them, including the need to offer cheap fuel, provide energy security and adhere to climate goals. All of these are “conflicts” with one another.
Scientists claim that climate problems can be solved quicker and cheaper by holding carbon emitters accountable for their emissions.
They stated that “implementing extended producer accountability through a combination geological CO2 storage with nature-based solutions can lead to net zero at comparable or lower cost than traditional scenarios.”
“It would also signify that the main beneficiary of high fossil fuel prices is the fossil fuel industry, which plays its part in addressing climate change.”
The group stated that these “conventional scenarios” would include storage constraints and global carbon prices, but they would be less effective.
Myles Allen, coauthor of the report, said: “The failure was policy, not technology.”
He added, “The technology exists.”
Carbon capture is the process of taking CO2 emissions from industrial processes and injecting them into underground rock formations to store it for permanent storage. This includes power generation, steel production, and cement production.
National Grid states that former oil and gas reservoirs, salt mines, and other sources of oil and gas can be used as long as they are less than 0.6 miles deep.
There were 51 large-scale carbon storage and capture plants around the globe as of 2019. More than 200mln tonnes have been saved by American sites in 1972.