skip to primary navigationskip to content

Cambridge Global Challenges

The Cambridge Strategic Research Initiative for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Studying at Cambridge


New report published on CCS as a climate change mitigation tool

last modified Nov 22, 2017 02:13 PM
A report launched in late October finds that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) should be seen as an important component of a portfolio of mitigation technologies for meeting climate change targets. The report, titled "The Role of CCS in Meeting Climate Policy Targets", was commissioned by the Global CCS Institute, and authored independently by a team of academic researchers from the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, the UCL Energy Institute, the UCL Faculty of Laws, the University of Edinburgh and the UK Energy Research Centre.

The report finds that although CCS is not without risks or uncertainties, the available evidence suggests that the risks of CCS not being available as part of a portfolio of mitigation options to address climate targets, are greater than the risks of attempting to develop it. As such, CCS should be considered a critically important part of any strategy for limiting temperature rise to 2°C, and even more so for limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Co-author Professor Paul Ekins, UKERC Co-Director, said the report found that pursuing CCS requires a whole-chain innovation systems approach, including coordination of actors and infrastructure, and attention to legislative and regulatory frameworks.

"Of course, there will be a need for technology 'push' policies such as support for research and development, and market 'pull' policies such as price support and carbon taxes. However, it’s also important to recall that comparable large-scale technological systems and infrastructures have historically benefitted from some kind of whole-chain coordination and support, with governments playing key enabling roles. We do not believe that CCS will succeed without similar whole-chain coordination and support."

UCL co-author, Dr Nick Hughes said report findings indicated that the non-availability of CCS appears to make climate mitigation scenarios “at best much higher cost, and at worst infeasible". He continued, "We find that not having CCS available will pose a significant risk to the achievability of the Paris targets. We find this is a convincing reason for putting in place clear and long-term measures to support the development of CCS systems."

The report was launched at London’s Royal Society, with a group of expert speakers in attendance, including: UK Committee on Climate Change Chairman, Lord Deben; Shell Chief Climate Change Adviser, David Hone; Global CCS Institute CEO, Brad Page; Distinguished Associate of the Energy Futures Initiative, Julio Friedmann; and IEA analyst, Samantha McCulloch. The launch event, hosted by the Global CCS Institute, and chaired by BBC environmental commentator, Roger Harrabin, was attended by more than 100 representatives spanning government, industry, academia, and environmental NGOs.


For further details on this report, please see the source article here.

You can access the report itself by clicking here.

Cambridge Global Challenges is a Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.


Find out about open funding opportunities, pre-call announcements, responsive calls, studentships and awards relevant to the global challenges agenda.

Read more