COP28: Can 'carbon capture' keep fossil fuels viable?
(Context, 11 Dec 2023) Fossil fuel producers want to eliminate climate-changing emissions but not oil and gas. Can that work?
As the COP28 U.N. climate summit in Dubai enters its final days, one key dispute remains: Does the world need to phase out the production and use of fossil fuels, as scientists say? Or could it eliminate just the emissions from burning coal, oil and gas?
Many large countries with commitments to reach net-zero emissions around mid-century - particularly major oil and gas-producing nations - say they intend to achieve net-zero in part by using "carbon capture and storage" (CCS).
The technology involves capturing planet-heating gas emitted from fossil fuel power stations, industrial plants and similar sources and then pumping it into permanent storage underground.
But critics say national net-zero plans foresee dramatically more use of CCS than is actually being developed, and that the expensive technology is simply not capable of capturing enough emissions to keep fossil fuels viable and the planet safe.