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Is carbon capture the climate fix we need?

EOS Insight
2 May 2024 |
To date, carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) has been long on promises and short on delivery. But hard-to-abate industries are likely to rely on the technology to get to net-zero emissions. Michael Yamoah and Shoa Hirosato examine the implications for companies and investors.
Is carbon capture the climate fix we need?

CCUS is a set of technologies capturing carbon from different sources such as power plant exhausts or directly from the air. Most Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models aligned with the 1.5°C target rely on carbon dioxide removal, which is why CCUS is seen as a crucial tool for tackling the climate crisis, particularly for hard-to-abate sectors.

Industries such as steel, cement, and chemicals require high temperature heat from the burning of fossil fuels and emit carbon dioxide from unavoidable chemical reactions. These industries currently lack commercially viable alternatives that can reduce carbon emissions in operations.

CCUS technologies therefore present an opportunity to reduce emissions where fuel substitution or complete electrification is not feasible or cost effective, and can be retrofitted to existing facilities. However, a scalable and viable commercial solution for CCUS has remained elusive, and most CCUS projects are still at the prototype or demonstration phase.

EOS has been engaging with companies across relevant sectors on their decarbonisation strategies and the role that CCUS plays within them. So far, we have discussed carbon capture with around 60 companies, particularly in the oil and gas, chemicals, utilities, and heavy industries sectors. Several companies, especially in the US, have recently committed to CCUS, potentially at scale, as part of their long-term operational emissions reduction.

In our engagements, we have been asking for clearer disclosure on CCUS strategies and associated risks, while monitoring progress. This is because we often encounter limited detail in companies’ disclosures, and investors need detail to assure them of the credibility of the decarbonisation strategies.

Read the full article in our Q1 2024 Public Engagement Report.

Is carbon capture the climate fix we need?

Is carbon capture the climate fix we need?

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