09 Dec 2019, 12:56
Rose-Anne Clermont

EU can reach climate neutrality without CCS – German environment agency

Clean Energy Wire

The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) outlined measures that demonstrate how EU greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) neutrality is possible without controversial carbon capture and storage (CCS) and with limited amounts of bioenergy, in a study published in November. The study urges efficiency in all energy-consuming sectors (industry, buildings and transport) as well as "far-reaching electrification." "These measures can reduce the final energy demand (including international transport) by about 37 percent and the share of electricity can be increased to almost 50 percent," according to the study. The paper recommends a "broad portfolio" of renewable energy options as well as substantial quantities of renewable fuels produced from renewable electricity via electrolysis or based on biomass. The study also requires lowering activity of agricultural and forestry activities. In 2015, agriculture was responsible for 10 percent of EU GHG emissions, according to the study. "A reduction of 95 percent compared to 1990 is not possible without abandoning production and reducing livestock numbers."

Most scenarios that aim for climate neutrality include CCS to some extent, such as those to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees presented by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its latest report. European Union leaders are set to meet in Brussels 12 – 13 December to set the bloc on track for net neutrality by 2050. It is unclear, whether Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic will end their blockade in regards to this objective. In another study published in November the UBA looked at six different scenarios for Germany to achieve climate neutrality and cutting its resource needs by up to 70 percent. It found that under the most optimistic one, dubbed "GreenSupreme”, a reduction of 97 percent to more than 100 percent is possible if all CO2 reduction and natural absorption potentials are exploited.

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