SERIOUS MONDAY: CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE, KEY IN CLIMATE CHANGE FIGHT

Controversy is mounting over plans to bury carbon dioxide in a bid to keep greenhouse gas emissions below danger levels.

The International Environment Agency says carbon capture and storage (CCS) could be the silver bullet in the fight against climate change.

CCS is a means of separating out carbon dioxide when burning fossil fuels, and then dumping it – underground, or under the sea bed.

But critics argue that it is unsafe, has never been tested on a commercial scale and could slow down any move towards real green power sources.

And while the IEA says any challenges could be overcome and the WWF believes it could be a viable stop-gap –  some environmental groups, including Greenpeace, describe it as “a false hope.”

Experts have warned that further rises in climate temperature will bring more damaging heat waves, water shortages and flooding and supporters of CCS claim it is the technological answer we’ve been looking for.
Already, a number of major companies are said to be  “preparing” for CCS projects – but Greenpeace says the reality is that the technology is not yet viable.

It says although supporters of the planned new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth have made much of the idea of “clean coal”, the plant will simply be ready to incorporate CCS when the technology becomes viable – and that might be never.

Greenpeace has criticised Eon for wanting to build a coal power plant that will “pump out as much CO2 as thirty developing countries, year on year” in the hope that at some point CCS will be available.

Opponents say we face the prospect of massive emissions for the next 40 years from a new generation of coal-burning power stations – approved on the basis of a promise that never materialises.

Susan

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