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Carbon Capture Cash ‘Must Be Included In Kyoto II Deal’

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fiscal incentives for carbon capture and storage (CCS) should be part of the replacement for the Kyoto Protocol climate change agreement, a UN agency said today.

The recommendation by the 56 economic commission for Europe (UNECE) member states puts the issue formally on the table for a meeting of the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December next year, which aims to agree a binding treaty to replace Kyoto.

Delegates will meet in Peru next month to work on the accord, amid new scientific warnings about risks of floods, heat waves, acidification and rising seas.

The UNECE warned that commercial development of CCS does not have enough political support and should have at least as much as other low-carbon technologies.

"A post-Kyoto agreement should accept a broad array of fiscal instruments to encourage carbon capture, utilisation and storage," the agency said.

Beefing up alternative energy sources such as wind and solar would not be enough to tackle climate change, it cautioned, adding: "Cement, steel, chemicals, refining and transport are among many sectors that must be addressed in a manner similar to the energy sector.

"Properly addressing carbon capture in an international agreement may be one of the few strategies to enable progress toward rapid deployment of CCS as an important part of global carbon dioxide emission reduction activities."

The number of big CCS projects has doubled to 22 since 2010 and the technology passed a milestone this year with the start-up of the first commercial CCS-equipped coal-fired power plant near Spremberg in Germany.

But the European Union is striking a discordant note.

The new European Commission, in office since the start of November, is considering changing or even scrapping a proposed new air-quality law because firms claim that they are struggling to compete and that EU regulation is driving them out of Europe.

However, the European Environment Agency has warned the commission that air pollution, chiefly from coal-fired power plants, cost up to £150 billion in 2012.

Of the 30 biggest facilities it identified as causing the damage, 26 were power plants fuelled by coal in Germany and eastern Europe. (Morning Star)

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