EU sets world’s first target for underground CO2 storage capacity

(EurActiv, 17 Mar 2023) The European Commission set out a target on Thursday (16 March) to enable 50 million tonnes of annual carbon dioxide injection capacity by 2030, a move that puts the oil and gas industry under pressure to deliver on a technology they have been peddling for years.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is listed as one of the key technologies for the green transition in the Commission’s Net-Zero Industry Act, presented on Thursday.

And for the first time, it includes an EU-wide target to capture CO2, with a legally-binding objective of reaching an annual injection capacity of at least 50 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.

“It is indeed a legally binding target,” said a senior EU Commission official who briefed the press on Thursday. “And it is also accompanied by an obligation for fossil fuel companies – the oil and gas producers – to contribute to that target,” the official added.

“They actually have the assets, the skills, and the knowledge to provide with storage sites.”

Earlier this month, Denmark became the first country in the world to develop a cross-border CO2 storage site, shipping CO2 from Belgium and injecting it into a depleted oil field under the Danish North Sea.

The European Commission now wants to see such projects replicated across the EU in order de-risk investments in CCS and set the conditions to ensure the technology is deployed at scale.

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EurActiv, 17 Mar 2023: EU sets world’s first target for underground CO2 storage capacity