German carbon capture row heightened by EU’s draft 2040 climate plan

(EurActiv, 1 Feb 2024) Germany’s upcoming carbon management strategy is being delayed by government divisions on carbon capture and storage (CCS), further exacerbated by a leaked EU climate policy draft for 2040 promoting the controversial technology.

The European Commission is due to present a policy document on 6 February outlining its vision for “industrial carbon management” including controversial technologies like CCS – where CO2 is captured by industrial means and put into long-term storage.

Meanwhile, Berlin is struggling to find a government consensus on its own carbon management strategy. Throughout Green Economy Minister Robert Habeck’s time in charge, his pro-CCS position has faced concerns within the government, and pushback from his party as well as environmental groups. 

Habeck’s goal is to enable the storage of CO2 underground with CCS, as a step towards decarbonising Germany’s heavy industry. With that goal in mind, an alliance of trade unions, NGOs and manufacturers have urged “quick” publication of the strategy in early January.

There is a lot to do. By 2045, Germany may have to sequester and store up to 127 million tonnes of CO2 per year, according to an analysis by researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research.

But progress has been slow since the appeal was launched in January.

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EurActiv, 1 Feb 2024: German carbon capture row heightened by EU’s draft 2040 climate plan