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EU Commission plans to capture and utilise carbon dioxide

Portrait photo of Kadri Simson, Energy Commissioner of the EU Commission

An EU Commission draft for a carbon management strategy envisages the creation of a CO₂ internal market.

The European Union has committed to becoming climate-neutral by 2050. In order to reduce current emissions, technologies are also to be used with which CO₂ can be captured or removed directly from the atmosphere and then stored or utilised. These technologies should focus on sectors in which emissions are particularly difficult or very costly to reduce, such as process emissions in the cement industry or energy generation from waste.
According to the Net-Zero Industry Act, which was agreed by the EU Parliament and Council at the beginning of February 2024, annual CO₂ storage capacities of at least 50 million tonnes are to be created in the EU by 2030. Based on an impact assessment for the year 2040, the Commission assumes that these capacities would have to increase to around 280 million tonnes by 2040 in order to achieve the EU target of a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The carbon management strategy is intended to propose a comprehensive political approach to this. It contains a series of measures that the Commission believes should be taken at EU and national level to enable the introduction of technologies and the development of the necessary infrastructure. The measures are aimed at creating a single market for carbon dioxide in Europe in the coming decades. The Commission also announces that it will begin preparatory work for a possible future CO₂ transport and storage regulatory package, which will address issues such as market and cost structure, third-party access, CO₂ quality standards or investment incentives for new infrastructure. This also includes an assessment of how removal and permanent storage could be counted under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS).
"Renewable energy and energy efficiency remain key on the path to climate neutrality, but to achieve net zero emissions, we also need technologies to remove, capture, transport, store and utilise CO₂. With the strategy we are presenting today, we want to create a European market for CO₂. With the right support and coordination of projects and the right regulatory framework for CO₂ infrastructure and standards, we can support the development of these technologies in the EU. Carbon management technologies will not only allow us to reduce emissions, but also make our industry cleaner and more competitive," explains Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson on the Commission's plans.
Further information: Press release and background documents from the EU Commission

  • EU Commission press release (6.2.2024)
  • Photo: © EU-Kommission

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