ENGO Network Meeting in Scotland : CCS UNDERGROUND
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CCS has the potential to significantly reduce global carbon emissions.

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A discussion of the issues and policies related to carbon capture and storage technology.*

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*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the position(s) of the ENGO Network on CCS. 

ENGO Network Meeting in Scotland


This post was written by Chris Smith, coordinator of the ENGO Network on CCS. It originally appeared May 31, 2013 on Insights, a GCCSI online publication.

Members of the ENGO Network on CCS gathered last week in Edinburgh, Scotland, for their annual retreat, which coincided with the launch of Moving CCS Forward in Europe, a white paper examining the current status of CCS in Europe, why policy efforts have stalled and recommendations for improving momentum.

Lead author Chris Littlecott with E3G talked about the paper and how environmental NGOs could help advance public and political dialogue during a panel session on communicating CCS at Thursday’s Global CCS Institute Europe, Middle East and Africa Members' Meeting.

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“To move CCS forward in Europe, we need to look beyond the limits of the current bureaucratic imagination,” Littlecott said, adding that politicians and policymakers could benefit from creation of new policies focusing on how CCS could boost low-carbon competitiveness and job retention.

ENGO members from Bellona Foundation and ZERO are co-contributors to the report, which also includes ideas on how EU-wide and Member States policy incentives could work together to accelerate action on CCS, as well as a look at how Norway might be able to cooperate further with the EU given its established CCS leadership aspirations.

Points of emphasis made at the ENGO retreat also seemed to parallel those made by speakers at the Institute's meeting. For example, discussions at both meetings included comments lamenting the lack of global political leadership around CCS; a recognition that public understanding of this technology could be improved through better and increased communication; and a collaborative desire to propagate messaging surrounding CCS’s integral role in overall energy and renewables discourse.

So what did we take away from our Scotland retreat and and the Institute's meeting? Comments and impressions include the following:

  • Perhaps the most important recurring theme to come out of the Institute's Members' Meeting in Edinburgh this year has been the pressing need for strong political leadership on CCS. Through targeted international collaboration and information sharing, the ENGO Network is working to address this need. It's goal: to work with political decision makers and other key stakeholders to provide the political commitment and regulatory frameworks so desperately needed to unlock investment in CCS.

  • Procrastination on CCS now will greatly reduce the performance and even the possibility of reaching effective climate goals later.

  • The ENGO retreat is a priceless experience to connect, learn, and collaborate with colleagues from around the world. The retreat framed my NGO work in an international context and I was able to learn from the experiences of other nations’ initiatives and regulatory experiences.

  • It is worthwhile noting that both meetings included discussion on the potential for emissions performance standards to be a critical driver of CCS.

  • We need to talk more about the role CCS can play in helping the natural gas sector reduce emissions.

My favorite quotes were from former executive director of the International Energy Agency’s Claude Mandil, who gave closing remarks at the Institute's meeting and a call to action for all attendees: “Be consistent, insistent and persistent. There is absolutely no future without CCS being a part of it.”

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