How can we help?

Around the world, people are researching, contributing to government policy and finding practical solutions to reduce CO2 emissions. Many organisations, including the International Energy Agency, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and UK Committee on Climate Change recommend that a range of clean energy solutions is the best way to tackle the climate change challenge.

A range of clean energy options

Energy efficiency means using less energy to produce products or services. This may be by conserving energy or through new technical solutions that stop energy being wasted. Many of these solutions are inexpensive and already available, such as better insulation for your home. Energy efficiency is available to everyone and really helps in reducing CO2 emissions.

Renewable energy comes from natural resources that are naturally replenished such as sunlight and wind. Modern technologies like solar power, wind power, geothermal technology, hydropower and some forms of biomass are common sources of renewable energy. Renewable energies are an important solution towards our climate challenge.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a process used to capture carbon dioxide gas (CO2) emitted while producing power or making goods such as steel or cement. To keep CO2 out of the atmosphere, it is captured from the power plant or factory, transported and safely stored underground, permanently. CCS can capture around 90% of the CO2 from power stations and industrial facilities, making a very strong contribution towards our climate change challenge. See more on this below.

Industries such as transport, manufacturing and building are energy-intensive and can really benefit from using fuel sources that have low emissions. This might mean replacing fossil fuel-powered vehicles with biofuels, hydrogen or adopting electric-power.

Heat and electricity generation can be created from nuclear processes. These processes contribute to the range of different energy sources available, and are a promising solution.

New technology can improve how we generate power, helping to reduce emissions such as swapping from coal to gas, which produces much less CO2. One day new gas-fired power plants may be required to be built and operated with CCS technology for even better reductions in CO2 emissions.

How does CCS work?

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a technology that helps stop carbon dioxide (CO2) from being released into the atmosphere.

Fuel such as coal, oil or natural gas is burnt (combusted) to produce energy.

There are already many pipelines around the world that safely transport large amounts of CO2 every day.

Once CO2 has captured and transported, it is injected deep underground, usually over 1 km, where it can stay indefinitely. Storage of CO2 has safely happened around the world for many years. CO2 also has many uses, such as in the food and beverage industry for putting the gas in soda, and to aid industrial processes such as the recovery of oil from underground, known as enhanced oil recovery.

Top facts on carbon capture & storage

CCS can address emissions from the use of coal, oil and natural gas.

CCS can capture a very large percentage of the CO2 that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere from power stations and industrial plants.

CCS is already happening.

CO2 has been captured from various sources for many years, and around the world it is being used, injected and stored.

Read more on this.

Captured CO2 has many important uses.

Captured CO2 is already being used to assist with the recovery of oil and gas from underground, in industrial processes, and in the food and beverage industry (putting the ‘fizz’ in soda drinks).

The costs of tackling climate change without CCS will be much higher.

The International Energy Agency predicts that without CCS, the cost of reducing global emissions will be 40% higher by 2050 (IEA).

International Energy Agency

CCS is vital if we are to achieve the 2 degrees challenge.

CCS contributes between 15-55% of the required lowering of emissions up to the year 2100. Also, it is the only low-carbon technology that can address emissions from industrial plants such as cement or steel manufacturers.

2005, IPCC Special Report

As long as fossil fuels and carbon-intensive industries play dominant roles in our economies,

carbon capture and storage (CCS) will remain a critical greenhouse gas reduction solution.

In order to meet the two degrees challenge, the total CO2 capture and storage rate must grow from the tens of megatonnes (2013) to thousands of megatonnes (by 2050).

IEA’s CCS Roadmap

Global collaboration is necessary to make CCS realise it's potential.

Developed and developing countries must work together in order to develop technologies, set policy and build capacity in order for CCS to make its full contribution.

Source: IEA

The two degrees challenge is crucial in avoiding dangerous climate change.

Renewables, like CCS, are an important part of a the solution. CCS is one important option that can stem CO2 emissions as the world transitions to a new energy future.

Global CCS Institute

CCS technology is already happening around the world.

CCS technology is already happening around the world. There are 22 major CCS projects either operating or being built and many smaller ones. These have the ability to capture up to 40 million tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent to taking 8 million cars off the road.