Gas capture key to climate action: report
Summary: The International Energy Agency has been told more investment is needed in carbon capture and storage to tackle climate change.....
Ignoring the use of carbon capture and storage technology could more than double the cost of tackling climate change.
That's the advice given to the International Energy Agency as it works with other bodies on a goal to constrain carbon dioxide to levels consistent with a 2 degrees Celsius rise in global temperatures.
The Coal Industry Advisory Board - a group of senior executives from coal-related organisations established by the IEA to advise on policy - has released a submission calling for more investment in carbon capture and storage.
CCS prevents carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere when fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas are used.
The process captures CO2 at a power station or industrial facility such as a steel, LNG or cement plant and stores it in deep underground geological structures.
There are about 21 large-scale CCS facilities under way or in operation, however they have been criticised for their cost, their encouragement of the continued use of coal-fired power and the potential for leakage of stored gas.
The CIAB submission said Australia was well placed to roll out the technology.
"Without CCS, the cost of achieving a 2C goal increases by a mean estimate of 138 per cent," the submission said.
"This increase in cost equates to -3 per cent of cumulative global GDP for the rest of the century."
The Australian government should promote CCS investment and work with industry to co-develop CCS technology projects that are industrially scalable, the board said.
As well, the government should adopt energy policies, including low-emission coal technologies, that "provide the right settings to close the gap between carbon reduction ambitions and current emissions".