The EU is Prioritizing Carbon Dioxide Capture in its Climate Policy

The European Union (EU) aims to capture and store carbon dioxide in order to achieve its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2040. However, the EU currently has no storage facilities for carbon dioxide in use. This is a threat to the achievement of this goal as significant investments in carbon dioxide capture are needed.

According to the EU, it should be possible to capture 280 million tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2040, which is equivalent to Spain’s annual emissions. To achieve this, the EU must move from pilot and study levels of carbon dioxide recovery technology to large-scale industrial operation, which currently does not exist in the EU.

The Commission believes that technological solutions for capturing, transporting, storing, and using carbon dioxide exist but are not fully mature for commercial use. They urge urgency in accelerating the utilization of technology with innovation support and the right incentives. The Commission also hints at setting a target for the capture of carbon dioxide similar to the target for renewable energy production.

However, critics warn that this strategy may divert the main focus of climate action away from emission reductions and strengthening natural carbon sinks. According to the commission’s calculations, even capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air plays a significant role in climate action over the coming decades. However, this technology is at an early stage and very expensive.

The executive director of Strategic Perspectives think tank believes that relying on recovery technology is risky and that only about half of what is estimated will be captured through this methodology. The Commission emphasizes that recovery technology cannot replace natural carbon sinks and industry’s carbon sequestration complements nature’s carbon sinks which are primary important for achieving climate goals.

In conclusion, while there is hope that EU countries will include estimates of how much they can capture and store in their climate plans due in summer, there are concerns about whether this strategy will be effective or even risky if it diverts attention away from emission reductions and strengthening natural carbon sinks.

By Editor

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