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Carbon Capture and Storage deal under threat if Council refuses to budge


11 Dec 2008


Climate & Environment
EU Priorities 2020

Distribution: immediate - December 11, 2008, 12:09 pm

EU legislation on carbon capture and storage (CCS), a key element in the climate change and energy package being promoted by the French Presidency, will not be approved this year unless the European Council, meeting today in Brussels, agrees funding arrangements for CCS demonstration projects.

Chris Davies (Lib Dem, UK), the European Parliament´s rapporteur and chief CCS chief negotiator, says he intends to cancel a meeting planned for Saturday, at which final details were to be agreed between MEPs and Member State governments, if there is no improvement in the Council's current position.

He said: "There is little point in racing ahead with legislation to provide for the safe underground storage of CO2 if no power plants are to be built where the CO2 will be captured.

"Prime Ministers made a commitment nearly two years ago to support the building of up to 12 commercial demonstration projects by 2015, but have yet to identify a source of funding. Today it is time that they turned their fine words into good deeds."

The European Parliament has proposed that 350 million carbon allowances from the emissions trading scheme should be set aside to provide support funding of €7-9 billion. The Council has currently offered only 150 million allowances, which MEPs claim is insufficient to test the full range of CCS technologies.

Chris Davies said that the figure of 350 million was not negotiable. "The European Parliament has surrendered a lot in order to facilitate agreement, but for me this is the bottom line. I will halt the legislation if the Parliament´s demand is not met."

CCS is a new but proven technology which, if deployed to its full potential, could reduce carbon emissions in the EU by over 50% by 2050, 30% of which from the power sector alone. With world energy demands expected to rise significantly over the next 20 years, urgent action is needed to make drastic cuts in emissions. CCS is considered as a bridge towards a renewable energy system for the future.

For more information, please contact:
Neil Corlett: +32-2-284 20 77 or +32-478-78 22 84
or Chris Davies MEP: +32 2 284 53 53