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Novel carbon capture and utilisation technologies

Group of Chief Scientific Advisors
Scientific Opinion 4/2018 (Supported by SAPEA Evidence Review Report No 3)
Brussels, 23 May 2018

The  European  Union  has  committed  to  achieve  an  economy-wide  domestic target of at least 40% greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions for 2030 and at least 80% GHG reductions by 2050. This should allow the EU to contribute to keep  global  warming  well  below  2°C  as  agreed  by  the  almost  200  signatory parties to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
Achieving those reduction targets requires the deployment of new and efficient technologies,   appropriate   legislative   and   policy   initiatives,   as   well   as investments  in  research  and  innovation  ('R&I')  and  an  appropriate  financial framework  to  facilitate  the  demonstration  and  deployment  of  technologies  in the higher range of TRLs (Technology Readiness Level). Among the techniques that  can  mitigate  CO2 emissions  are  those  that  are  referred  to  as  Carbon Capture   and   Utilisation   that   included   capture,   conversion   and   hydrogen generating technologies.
The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors was asked by the European Commission to advise on  the  climate  mitigation  potential  of  Carbon  Capture  and  Utilisation (CCU) technologies in  view  of future  policy decisions  in  this  field,  including on financial support by the European Union. The   decisions   should support technologies  that  are  environmentally sound and  provide genuine climate benefits.

The main questions put to the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors were:

-Under  what  circumstances  Carbon  Capture  and  Utilisation  for  production  of fuels, chemicals and materials can deliver climate benefits and what are their total climate mitigation potential in the mid-and long-run?

-How can the climate mitigation potential of CO2 incorporated in products such as  fuels,  chemicals  and  materials  be  accounted  for  considering  that  the  CO2 will  remain  bound  for  different  periods  of  time  and  then  may  be  released  in the atmosphere?

This Scientific Opinion provides evidence based answers drawn from a literature review,   a   scientific   expert   workshop   and   stakeholder   consultation. Its conclusions can be divided into the following five sections.


Carbon Capture

and Utilisation

Full list of Working Group members

Download the SAPEA Evidence Review Report

Download the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors Opinion