UN report calls for scaling-up CCUS


Worldwide The net zero emission goal is critical for limiting global warming, as illustrated in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the technology brief calls for a gradual increase in carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS).

The method entails trapping CO2 emissions from coal and gas power plants and heavy industry for deep underground storage or re-use.

Smaller nations need support

The study reports that the time is running out for the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It follows on from the UN Secretary-General’s message to the Powering Past Coal Alliance Summit, calling on governments, private businesses and local authorities to end the “deadly dependence” on coal.

The brief discusses the different CCUS developments and offers an outline of more than 50 projects in Europe and North America. Scandinavia, the United States and the United Kingdom are leading the way, while smaller nations in the UNECE region are finding foreign partners and funding. Cost could be an obstacle. For Europe alone, an estimated € 320 billion would be required for the CCUS rollout scheduled for 2050, plus another €50 billion for the transport infrastructure needed.

Gearing up for carbon capture 

As the quantity of CO2 removed required to achieve carbon neutrality exceeds the ability of existing CCUS technologies, expenditure must be seen in tandem with other ways of combating climate change, such as the deployment of low or zero carbon infrastructure and the enhancement of natural carbon sinks such as parks, wetlands and oceans.