German government draft report proposes to change legal framework on CCS
Table.Media / Clean Energy Wire
In a bid to achieve its climate targets, the German government aims to bet more strongly and more quickly than previously thought on the controversial technologies of carbon capture and storage or use (CCU/CCS), reports Table.Media. A draft assessment report by the economy ministry on the country’s CO2 storage law and international developments on the technologies, also seen by Clean Energy Wire, is currently coordinated among ministries. The draft that is meant to feed into government decisions on CCS says that the current legal framework stands in the way of actually making use the technology and proposes corresponding changes. The report says the government has promised a national “Carbon Management Strategy,” which would pave the way for the required legal reforms. It adds that different scenarios project only low use of CCS by 2030, but by 2045, between 34 and 73 million tonnes of CO2 would be captured, transported and stored per year.
Most scenarios drawn up by researchers and the government for climate neutrality by mid-century, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), say simply reducing annual human-made greenhouse gas emissions is not enough to limit global warming to 1.5°C. In addition, carbon removal measures like carbon farming or CCS would be necessary. In Germany, years of protests against industry plans to use CCS as a lifeline for coal power made the technology anathema for most German politicians. Due to the legal framework in force, it is currently impossible to start a CCS project in Germany. But the new goal of climate neutrality by 2045 forces the country into a fresh debate on dealing with unavoidable CO2 emissions. The current government’s coalition agreement says that it will develop a strategy for “technical negative emissions” to deal with the unavoidable remaining emissions, such as those created through agriculture and some industry. German government officials recently welcomed the EU proposal to certify carbon removals.