The government has published a new policy paper which sets out its plans for the UK’s carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) supply chains. The paper outlines a new target for the UK to capture and store 10 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030.
This is an important target, as although many organisations and individuals are working to reduce their emissions as much as possible, the majority will be unable to stop creating emissions entirely. To get to net zero, the UK will need to have the capability to remove enough emissions from the atmosphere to counteract any residual emissions. The Committee on Climate Change has therefore stated that CCUS is a ‘non-optional’ element of the UK’s transition to net zero.
Encouragingly, the policy paper states that the UK has one of the greatest CO2 storage potentials of any country in the world. In fact, it’s estimated that the UK Continental Shelf (the region of water surrounding the UK) could safely store 78 billion tonnes of CO2, which is the equivalent of 200 years of the UK’s annual CO2 emissions. By developing our capabilities to capture and store carbon, the Government estimates that we could support around 50,000 jobs by 2050.
It’s good to see that the Government has put a target in place for CCUS, and we look forward to the release of a full roadmap for the CCUS sector later this year, so we can understand how the skills, infrastructure and technologies will be supported. This will be published alongside a ‘Fit for CCUS’ scheme for businesses, which will help high emitters to prepare to adopt CCUS technology. While we wait for more details, you can read the policy paper, here.