Climate Chance Observatory
By endorsing the goal “to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of GHGs in the second half of the century“, the Paris Agreement made States and non-state actors adopt the concept of carbon neutrality and to engage with the idea of “negative emissions”. In this way, not only has the issue of offsetting emissions grown in importance, but also, to a lesser extent, that of capturing carbon for its geological storage or use (Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage – CCUS). Currently, most international reference scenarios regarding carbon neutrality (IEA, IPCC) include CCUS technologies to varying degrees, but in view of the past and current difficulties in implementing them, uncertainties remain as to whether they can be rolled out at the scales envisaged.
- Since 2015, there has been a resurgence of interest in CCUS and conditions once again appear favourable for its deployment. But due to a number of uncertainties of an economic (viability of CCUS), technical (safety during the various stages of the production chain) and strategic (the relative share of CCUS in decarbonisation strategies) nature, private actors and public authorities are still hesitant to embark on industrial-scale projects or infrastructure financing.
- Currently, although CCUS is increasingly presented as relevant for certain business sectors (such as for reducing emissions from heavy industries) and certain applications (especially for NET deployment), it is still considered by political actors as a secondary solution or a back-up solution if the other decarbonisation mechanisms fail.
- At a social level, it is not the subject of lively debate and continues to be largely ignored outside certain specific spheres (NGOs, bodies specialising in the energy transition) or during attempts to implement local projects. Few political, institutional and regional players have thrown their weight behind it. For these reasons, large-scale deployment at least of the order of a gigatonne per year from 2030 as envisaged by the IEA or in certain IPCC scenarios, is unlikely.