11 Jan 2024, 13:47
Franca Quecke

Industry, trade union and environmental NGOs form alliance in support of CCS and CCU

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Industry and environmental associations have joined forces to come out in favour of the controversial technology to store and capture CO2 for sectors where emissions cannot be avoided, reports newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The German Trade Union Association (DGB), the Federation of German Industries (BDI), together with the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) and the World Wildlife Fund Germany (WWF) have called on the government to soon present the planned carbon management strategy, defining guidelines for dealing with carbon capture and storage and use (CCS/CCU). "It is right to prioritise the use of CCS and CCU where CO₂ emissions cannot be avoided according to the current state of technology. At the same time, high ecological and social standards must be adhered to," the associations stated in a joint position paper. The document does not say anything about where or under what conditions CO2 could be stored.

Capturing and storing carbon emissions is controversial, as critics consider it an expensive technology that could ultimately perpetuate rather than reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Environmentalists had previously rejected the technology partly due to fears of environmental damage, warning that international progress on climate protection will be even slower if the technology is used. However, NABU and WWF now state that everything must be done to limit global warming, as reported by Süddeutsche Zeitung. NABU's head of climate and environmental policy, Daniel Rieger, told the newspaper that it must be acknowledged that "we simply have to set all the levers in motion" to limit global warming and that "there is currently no other option for decarbonising some industries." Nevertheless, the position paper emphasises the principle of CO₂ avoidance and reduction before capture.

The German government had planned to finalise a carbon management strategy in 2023, but has yet to present it. The European Commission intends to present a package of policy papers on industrial carbon management on 6 February.

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