Why does the world need to capture and store CO2?

CO2 emissions; CCS Edit: 110615
We need to reduce CO2 emissions to prevent dangerous global climate change. At the same time, the world will be dependent on coal, oil and gas for many decades to come. This is why we need technology to capture and store CO2.
Less CO2 eaquals better climate
Photo: iStock.

To prevent dangerous global climate change, we know that we need to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

The UN's climate panel (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC), which is composed of experts and researchers from across the globe, has recommended keeping the earth's average temperature increase under 2°C compared with the pre-industrial level to prevent harmful and unwanted climate changes. This means the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere must be kept below 450 ppm (parts per million).

The human CO2 emissions primarily come from power production based on fossil energy (coal, oil and gas) and from emissions from industrial activities. World energy demand is increasing. The countries in the new economies and the third world want to increase general welfare for their populations – and this requires energy. The growth in production of renewable energy cannot take place in a broad enough scope and quickly enough to meet the growing demand. The world will therefore depend on coal, oil and gas for many decades to come. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has estimated that the world's energy consumption will increase by approximately 40% by 2040 and that even in 2040, fossil fuels will cover more than 70 per cent of the global energy demand.

We must therefore start to utilize technology to reduce our CO2 emissions. We need to increase the efficiency of our energy consumption, promote renewable energy and utilise CCS to achieve the climate targets set by the world. Not just one of the above, but all. Gassnova's role is to contribute to development of technology that can capture CO2 from major emissions, with subsequent transport by pipeline and storage in geological formations underneath the seabed (carbon capture and storage, or CCS).

Installing CCS on major point source emissions, both within power production and in industry, will be a big help.

We are running out of time. Technology development is a long race. We are working to limit global warming of our planet so it can remain habitable for future generations.