Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) could play a vital role in the decarbonization of some industries but carbon removals cannot be used by oil and gas firms while they continue to pump fossil fuels as usual, a new report by the Energy Transitions Commission showed on Thursday.
“CCUS and removals are vital but do not mean business as usual,” said the commission which includes industry executives, bankers, and academics.
The report “dispels the notion that CCUS and carbon removals justify business as usual for fossil fuel production,” according to the commission, which said that the use of coal, oil, and natural gas must be reduced dramatically by 2050, with reductions starting now.
Per the report, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would need 65% of oil and gas reserves and 90% of coal reserves to remain untapped.
“Consequently, investments in fossil fuel supply should decline by 30-35% by 2030 and 45-65% by 2040, with exploration of new fields deemed unnecessary,” the Energy Transitions Commission said.
According to ETC, “it is not prudent to rely on significantly higher use of carbon capture or removals—the priority must be to bring down fossil fuel demand.”
For most coal applications, CCUS would be more expensive than an alternative, CCUS would either be impractical or uneconomic for most gas use, and for most uses of oil today, CCUS “would be completely impractical,” ETC said.
“CCUS and carbon removals cannot be used to justify business-as-usual fossil fuel production,” said Ita Kettleborough, Director, Energy Transitions Commission.
“Some CCUS and removals are required to achieve net-zero emissions and limit global warming to 1.5°C – playing a vital, but limited, complementary role alongside zero-carbon electricity, clean hydrogen and the use of sustainable low-carbon bioresources. They must be deployed as well as, not instead of, rapid reduction in fossil fuels use.”
While calls for reduction of oil and gas use, investments, and production have intensified, the industry says that all energy sources will be needed for decades to come and the world will need more investments and new oil and gas developments to ensure market stability and avoid energy and economic chaos.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.