GHGT-16: Opening Plenary


By Sam Neades

24 October 2022

Welcome Addresses

Kelly Thambimuthu, Chairman of the IEAGHG Programme (custodian of the GHGT conference series), kicked off proceedings by welcoming all to this conference, the 16th in the GHGT Series with the inaugural one held back in 1998. Dr Thambimuthu thanked the local hosts of this conference, ClubCO2, ADEME, IFP Energies Nouvelles, BRGM, TotalEnergies and the platinum, silver and other sponsors, without whom this conference could not go ahead. He recognised the importance of focussing on scientific solutions for the mitigation of climate change, and the outcomes of the recent IPCC Sixth Assessment report and the 2021 IEA report on net zero which convey the importance of CO2 methods such as CCS and BECCS, and that CCUS must contribute 25% of the effort to reach net-zero by 2050. This GHGT conference will be a showcase of recent research, achievements and opportunities in the world of CCUS.

Florence Delprat-Jannaud, Chair of ClubCO2, welcomed all to GHGT, ‘the largest and most important conference on CCS and CCUS technologies’, and noted the key role the host country, France, has played in deploying climate mitigation technologies particularly since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015. She noted that CCS, CCU and energy transition is complex and the objective of this conference is to share knowledge, adding that ‘it is time for action’ and ‘we have to go faster, wider, together’ to reach our climate goals.

Tim Dixon, General Manager of IEAGHG, thanked the hosts and was enthusiastic to be bringing the GHGT conference to France for the first time. At this event we have 1200 delegates, received over 900 abstracts in advance of the conference, have over 350 oral presentations and 300 posters over 7 parallel sessions.

Keynote Addresses

Thelma Krug, Vice Chair of the IPCC, has played a key leadership role in the outputs of the IPCC. She recognised the unequivocal human influence on the warming of the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere, with the rate of warming since 1970 being unprecedented. There has been a consistent expansion of policies addressing mitigation since the fifth IPCC assessment report in 2014, which has led to the avoidance of emissions. However, the policy coverage is uneven across sectors. The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report also notes that the current pledged NDCs are not enough to limit global warming to less than 1.5°C and global rates of CCS deployment are far below those of modelled pathways for <1.5°C warming. As Dr Krug asserted, ‘the evidence is clear: the time to act is now’.

Mary Burce Warlick, Deputy Executive Director of the IEA, exclaimed how encouraging it was to see so much interest and support in CCUS from the attendees of this conference. The IEA’s 2021 roadmap for net zero noted that CCUS is one of the key pillars for reaching net zero and is deployed to capture 1 Gt of CO2 by 2050; an ambitious scale up but not unique, as it reflects the scale up needed in many areas. Some areas will not be able to achieve net zero without CCUS. Despite its importance, CCUS is not on track for net zero by 2050, however, favourable policy support in the USA, Canada and the EU shows promise. Robust regulatory frameworks are needed worldwide to ensure safe, secure, permanent CO2 storage in geological formations, and the GHGT conference series is important to discuss such needs and opportunities in the world of CCUS.

Finally, Jarad Daniels CEO of GCCSI, echoed that CCUS is an essential tool for reaching net zero and a sustainable pathway forward. Demand drivers for CCS include net zero commitments from governments and businesses, the need for low-carbon footprint commodities, and economic drivers including growth and prosperity. GCCSI’s latest report recognises the 30 operational CCS projects worldwide along with the 61 currently in development. Realising CCS at scale globally will need a long-term, high value on the storage of CO2, support on the identification and appraisal of storage resources, CCS-specific laws and regulations and the enablement of investment in CCS through policy and market mechanisms. Jarad concluded by noting that ‘net zero by 2050 requires strong action by 2030, and the installed capacity of CCS needs to increase 100-fold by 2050 to meet global targets’.

For more information on the publications and organisations noted in this article, please see the below websites:

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