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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

Opening Speech GHGT-13 Kelly Thambimuthu

 As I spoke to open GHGT-13 today COP22 is underway in Marrakech. It is worth reflecting on the historic agreement that was made at the preceding COP21 meeting held in Paris last year. Paris set us the added aspiration of a new global temperature target of below 20C, even though we are working towards a 20C target. We know very well that even 20C is a challenge with pledges in emissions reduction in the lead up to Paris last year firmly taking us on a closer to 30C path way. There is scientific evidence that we are already locked into 10C of warming. There is a real and very urgent need to get on with tacking climate change through all possible greenhouse gas mitigation options.

We know that CCS is a critical technology to achieve 20C, the IPCC told us that in their 5th assessment report. I believe that going below 20C makes CCS an even more important mitigation option.

The below 20C target also places some challenges on the CCS community:

For CO2 capture, we will need to move towards zero emissions which means 100% CO2 capture. On the CO2 storage side we need to move with more urgency to prove up the geological storage resource particularly in developing countries. Finally, there is the issue of negative emissions. From 2030 onwards if we have not made as much progress in mitigating greenhouse emissions in the early years, then more radical action will be needed. So not just zero emissions but taking emissions out of the atmosphere, i.e., negative emissions will be needed that can be addressed through BIOCCS.

This conference is unique in that it brings CCS researchers from across the globe and across the full chain of the technology together under one roof. As a researcher myself, I look forward to listening to the new developments that we have achieved since we last met 2 years ago in Austin, Texas.

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