US carbon capture incentives leave EU ‘lagging behind’, biofuel makers warn

(EurActiv, 20 Apr 2023) Efforts to boost carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Europe are insufficient according to biofuel makers, who say the United States offer better incentives.

CCS sees carbon taken out of the atmosphere and injected underground, usually in depleted oil and gas fields, removing its contribution to global CO2 levels.

The controversial practice has been embraced as a necessary part of Europe’s climate efforts by EU authorities, who cite the difficulty in transforming Europe’s most polluting industries to be entirely emissions-free by 2050. 

The European Commission included CCS in its Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) released on 16 March in answer to the US’s green-industry subsidising Inflation Reduction Act.

Under the NZIA, the EU set a binding target for storage capacity of 50 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030. This CO2 will be kept in “strategic storage sites” across the bloc, with oil and gas producers legally required to contribute to this goal.

The figure of 50 million tonnes annually is in line with forecasted demand from industry, according to the European Commission.

However, the plan does not include direct payments for CCS, with the EU instead relying on the bloc’s carbon market, the Emission Trading System (ETS), to stimulate uptake.

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EurActiv, 20 Apr 2023: US carbon capture incentives leave EU ‘lagging behind’, biofuel makers warn