Carbon capture and storage involves capturing CO2 from the chimney as the fuel is burnt. This technology exists but is much more cost effective in big, highly concentrated sources such as power stations or cement makers. Then the Co2 must be compressed into a liquid and piped to the storage facility. Storing CO2 is like reversing the process of oil and gas extraction: it is pumped back underground and kept in the same rock formations that held the fossil fuels for thousands f years. Even the same offshore rigs that pumped the oil in the first place could be used to put the CO2 back.
39 Ways to save the Planet
The story Our Shared Storm describes such a scheme to divert much more investment into the sector. All and every method to increase funding in this sector is required.
Climeworks is an example of a direct air capture plant in Iceland.
How does this solution rate on:
Climate impact: tonnes of carbon saved/removed
Carbon dioxide removal– can already dispose of millions of tonnes of CO2 per year. It needs to be ramped up 1000 fold, which is a lot easier than the ramp required of other technologies.
Carbon dioxide removal is a foundation technology that needs to be widely deployed at every suitable site as soon as possible.
The oil and gas industry will eventually transmogrify into the CO2 disposal industry. It will be bigger than the existing O&G industry & needs to be boldly supported.
Social justice i.e. addresses inequalities, diversity, inclusion
Cost of action needed to progress goal
Substantial costs. Disposal costs of 100s $ per tonne need to be swallowed and supported by carbon taxes.
Which location is the solution most needed/applicable
Existing oil and gas fields.
Some risk of leaks but not in all locations.
It is already a reality but it requires expanding rapidly.
Interested in progressing this solution further?
Actions for policymakers
National and eventually international carbon taxes. ensure that each tonne of carbon dioxide created must be matched by a tonne of carbon dioxide safely and permanently removed from the atmosphere.
End to hydrocarbon subsidies.
Direct subsidy for carbon dioxide removal in some cases. International agreement to place a steadily increasing Carbon Takeback Obligation on fossil fuel companies.
Actions for funding bodies
Provide full funding for dozens of projects in multiple locations around the world. Construction and roll out of engineering for the capture, transport and safe storage of carbon dioxide.
Actions for business
Adopt real prices of carbon and commit to 100% disposal.
Actions for public
Societal awareness that we should be paying extra for fossil fuel use.