The Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) proposal from the European Commission represents a breakthrough moment for carbon capture and storage technologies, but questions about the broader climate technology deployment agenda in the EU remain unanswered.
“Europe needs an options-based strategy to achieve climate neutrality while achieving long-term energy security and economic growth. A well- designed Net-Zero Industry Act can be a conduit for this in many ways,”
said Lee Beck, Clean Air Task Force’s Senior Director, Europe. “It remains to be seen how the EU and member states will address the big and vital remaining questions around funding for clean tech commercialisation and deployment, along with planning for cross-border infrastructure, all while taking into account a timeframe beyond 2030.”
The carbon capture and storage portion of the proposal contains several important breakthroughs. The 50 million tonne of CO2 per year EU-wide storage target for 2030 is the first of its kind and can help stimulate crucial cross-border industrial decarbonisation planning. This target is backed up by specifics for actors across the value chain. As part of this 2030 target, oil and gas producers in the bloc would also fall under rules to ensure the development of CO2 storage sites based on the amounts they emit in the EU between 2020-2023. In addition, Member States are given clear obligations to show how they will store CO2 and meet the overall EU target.
“Putting the responsibility to deal with emissions on the biggest emitters is a fantastic step,” said Eadbhard Pernot, CATF’s Policy Manager, Carbon Capture. “Oil and gas producers have the technology and resources to put CO2 back in the ground permanently. It’s time for them to step up and take responsibility to enable access to CO2 storage in Europe.”
“this proposal is the first step towards a comprehensive strategy fit for the long term”
The NZIA proposal comes at a crucial time for climate and energy policy in Europe. The EU is not on track to hit 2030 emissions reduction targets and, despite the on-paper ambition of the European Green Deal and Fit For 55 packages, it is a long way behind on building the clean energy infrastructure needed to decarbonise the entire economy.
“A well designed and implemented NZIA would support transition of all sectors of the economy, but hinges on additional funding mechanisms for the full lifecycle of projects and large-scale deployment and commercialisation of technologies, as well as efficient planning, that goes well beyond 2030,” said Beck. “Hopefully, this proposal is the
first step towards a shift away from incremental progress and towards a comprehensive strategy fit for the long term.”
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