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Carbon capture has failed for decades and policymakers need real solutions to emissions reductions, not a “complete falsehood” such as CCS, according to Andrew Forrest, the Australian billionaire who is the founder of iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group.
“We're going to keep burning fossil fuels and somehow magically get rid of the carbon down into the ground where there is no proof that it will stay there, but heaps of proof that it fails,” Forrest said on Tuesday at a conference in Paris for the 50th anniversary of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
“I say for policy makers everywhere do not be the next idiot waiting for the old lie to be trotted out and say I believe in carbon sequestration. It has only failed for 75 years...It's a complete falsehood,” Forrest said, as carried by Reuters.
Carbon capture is not the solution to reducing emissions, said the founder of Fortescue Metals, the world’s fourth-largest iron ore producer.
In September 2023, Fortescue also said it would no longer buy carbon offsets.
“We are the only heavy emitter in the world to stop purchasing voluntary offsets,” Metals CEO Dino Otranto said at the time.
“We will focus our efforts on eliminating the million litres of diesel we use per year, rather than offsetting them.”
While Fortescue’s founder is criticizing carbon capture as a technology that could help reduce emissions, policymakers and governments are touting the benefits of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and are supporting and subsidizing projects, including through the Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S. The Biden Administration has significantly raised tax credit values for carbon capture technology with the IRA.
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 report by the Energy Transitions Commission showed in November.
“CCUS and removals are vital but do not mean business as usual,” said the commission which includes industry executives, bankers, and academics.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com