IEA Asks for Details of China's Climate Goals
The executive director of the International Energy Agency Fatih Birol said he wanted to see the details of China's carbon emissions reduction goal, as he launched a report on carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) in a webinar September 24.
Beijing has announced its intention for China to be carbon neutral by 2060, without explaining how it would do so. "We are happy to see the Chinese announcement, and even happier to see the details," he said, commenting on "the world's largest emitter." He did say however that he was sure CCUS would play a part in it, however.
He said also that governments and companies would have to play a role in the energy transition, both from strategic and from economic imperatives. Governments wanting to reach their climate change targets would have to adopt new technology; and companies wanting to be a part of the next industrial revolution would also need to decarbonise or lose their shareholders, he said. CCUS is not the only way though: electric vehicles, hydrogen, solar and offshore wind are also expected to play a part in carbon neutrality.
The IEA's report on CCUS came out in the week that the Norwegian government presented its white paper on the Longship project, an integrated CCS project centred on a cement works and an offshore saline aquifer. Cement accounts for 7% of global CO2 emissions, according to Norway's prime minister Erna Solberg, who also took part in the webinar.
All the IEA's assumptions that the world will reach its carbon emission goals have depended on the large-scale take-up of CCUS, but Norway's is the first to offer third-party access. The financing of Longship will depend on parliamentary support. Solberg said that longships had in the distant past been used to take Vikings abroad in order to loot and pillage, but that this Longship was different: it would take away what was not wanted. Norway has changed, she said.
The report finds that, "after years of slow progress, technologies to capture carbon emissions and store or reuse them are gaining momentum, a trend that will need to accelerate significantly for the world to achieve its energy and climate goals."