The EU is investigating how storing polluting greenhouse gas underground could help slash CO2 emissions.
Carbon Capture and Storage traps and separates carbon dioxide from industry sources before it is compressed and injected into the ground.
British MEP Chris Davies, a Liberal Democrat, said: “We have to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) if we want to stop the emissions from the burning up of fossil fuels to go up in the atmosphere. Instead we need to put them underground and keep them there for the long term.”
The technology is being tested on dozens of pilot-projects worldwide. Those working in the energy industry warn relying on renewables is neither sufficient nor good economics in the fight against global warming.
Tim Bertels, an executive with the energy giant Shell, said: “The IEA (International Energy Agency) has said that if we are not using CCS in the carbon mitigation mix, then the world will have to pay more for the decarbonization. I think they quoted about 1 trillion dollars extra.”
The European Commission will unveil new measures to boost the use of CCS. But the high costs involved remains a key barrier to overcome.