2 May 2019

Stevenson: Report Warns CCS is 'Necessity, not an option' in Climate Change Battle

The need for Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) technology in the fight against climate change is a “necessity, not an option”, a new report has warned.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) have released their latest findings which claimed the UK’s contribution to global warming can be ended within three decades by setting ambitious new targets.

And it has urged the UK Government to act soon on ensuring key measures are in place to protect against the impact of climate change.

Now, Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has urged the findings of the report to be listened to and for plans for CCS to the North-East of Scotland to be resumed.

It comes after then Tory Chancellor George Osborne axed £1billion investment plans for the technology in 2015.

Peterhead Power Station had been earmarked as a potential site for the technology and oil major Shell and Scottish Power completing a feasibility study.

Since the plans were put on hold, several reports have called for CCS plans to be resumed.

Last year, St Fergus near Peterhead was highlighted by a Westminster taskforce as a key site to deploy CCS at scale.

In the detailed report from the CCC it said: “Carbon capture and storage (CCS) in industry, with bioenergy (for GHG removal from the atmosphere), and very likely for hydrogen and electricity production. CCS is a necessity not an option.

“The scenarios involve aggregate annual capture and storage of 75-175 MtCO₂ in 2050, which would require a major CO₂ transport and storage infrastructure servicing at least five clusters and with some CO₂ transported by ships or heavy goods vehicles.”

Mr Stevenson said the necessary infrastructure was already in place between Peterhead Power Station and nearby St Fergus.

In November last year the UK Government published a clean action plan after announcing plans for clean energy technology to be rolled out more widely in the 2030s.

But none of the nine points in the strategy which were meant to be completed in 2019 have been achieved yet, leading to fresh concerns over the region being “sold short”.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP, said:

“Once again we have a report which emphasises the need for CCS technology to be implemented to meet climate change reduction targets.

“These latest findings, which emphasis that CCS is a “necessity and not an option” show the Tories cannot keep dragging their feet on this issue.

“What we need to implement CCS is an already existing infrastructure which can be adapted and what we have known for quite some time is Peterhead Power Station and the surrounding infrastructure connected to St Fergus is capable of doing just that both by land and sea.

“Peterhead was promised £1billion investment and 600 jobs before the plug was pulled in a cynical betrayal.

“Scotland already leads the world on engineering expertise in the energy sector.

“We have huge potential to use those skills and infrastructure to lead the world in carbon capture and storage which could create thousands of jobs, while developing new technology to help meet our climate change obligations as this ground-breaking report from the CCC demonstrates.”

CCS is a process which captures large quantities of carbon emissions and stores them underground, stopping them from being released into the atmosphere.

Oil and gas pipelines could be used to store CO2 in rock formations under the North Sea.

It is estimated region could store 75% of the UK’s CO2 emissions when coupled with carbon capture infrastructure.

Last year, Acorn at St Fergus was awarded the Oil and Gas Authority’s first licence for storing CO2 under the North Sea.

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