Berlin launches ‘milestone’ strategies to capture and remove CO2 permanently

(EurActiv, 26 Feb 2024) Germany will change its CO2 storage law to facilitate gas transport and is eyeing carbon capture in industry and the power sector while taking steps to become an emission-negative country past 2050.

Storing CO2 indefinitely on German soil, or even just transporting it by pipeline, is illegal as of 2024 – a challenge for companies betting on capturing their emissions to decarbonise but Berlin plans to change the law, overcoming long-held resistance in political circles.

“We are taking a pragmatic and responsible decision today: Carbon Capture and Storage and Carbon Capture and Utilisation should be made possible in Germany,” said Robert Habeck, the green minister of economy and climate action, on Monday (26 February) in Berlin.

When heavy industry emits CO2, it can be captured and stored (CCS) or used in chemical processes (CCU). Adaption of the technology in Germany will be accompanied by a new “Carbon Management Strategy” and enabled by changing the CO2-storage law.

The technology is “mature and safe,” Habeck explained, adding industries like cement “have no other option.” 

With onshore CO2 storage deeply unpopular with Germany’s “Länder”, storage within the country will only be permitted beneath the waves in Berlin’s tiny slice of the North Sea.

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EurActiv, 26 Feb 2024: Berlin launches ‘milestone’ strategies to capture and remove CO2 permanently