Carbon Capture and Storage

Background - 5 May, 2008
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) aims to reduce the climate impact of burning fossil fuels by capturing CO2 from power station smokestacks and disposing of it underground. Its future development has been widely promoted by the coalindustry as a justification for the construction of new coal-fired power plants. However, the technology is largely unproven and will not be ready in time to save the climate.”

Activists plant 2,008 trees on the construction site of the new E.ON coal power plant in the Netherlands. The power company intends to use carbon capture and storage on this site.

The climate crisis requires urgent action. Climate scientists warn that to avoid the worst effects, global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2015 and then start falling by at least 50 percent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. Coal is the most polluting of all fossil fuels, and the single greatest threat to the climate. If current plans to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in coal plants are realised, CO2 emissions from coal will have risen by 60 percent, by 2030.

Concerns about the feasibility, costs, safety, and liability of CCS make it a dangerous gamble. A survey of 1000 "climate decision makers and influencers" around the world reveals substantial doubt in the ability of CCS to deliver. Just 34 percent were confident that retrofitting 'clean coal technology' to existing power plants could reduce CO2 emissions over the next 25 years without unacceptable side effects, and only 36 percent were confident in its ability to deliver low carbon energy with new power stations.

The real solutions to stopping dangerous climate change lie in renewable energy and energy efficiency that can start protecting theclimate today. Huge reductions in energy demand are possible with efficiency measures that save more money than they cost to

implement. Technically accessible renewable energy sources- such as wind, wave and solar- are capable of providing six times more energy than then world currently consumes - forever.

Greenpeace's Energy [r]evolution provides a practical blueprint that shows how renewable energy, combined with greater energy efficiency, can cut global CO2 emissions by almost 50 percent, and deliver half the world's energy needs by 2050.

False hope report cover

Documents

Download the "False Hope" report

Download the "False Hope" Executive summary

Download the "False Hope" Fact sheet

Download the "False Hope" questions and answers document

Download the NGO statement

View the press release

Carbon capture storage at a glanceDownload illustrations (pdf)

Carbon Capture and Storage at a glance

Overview of geological storage options

Leakage pathways and potential impacts of CO2 escape