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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

67 JG imageI represented IEAGHG at the Global Institutes European and African members meeting in Edinburgh last week. I have to say Edinburgh is a great place to hold a meeting but back to business. The meeting provided the opportunity to meet the new Chairman of the Board, Paul Douglas. The Institute is still in transition from an Australian centric funded operation to a regionally dispersed operation with multiple funding sources. The Institute now has offices in Australia, Europe, North America, Japan and most recently China and has a globally dispersed staff resource across these offices. The next step in its transition will be the roll out of the future member funding arrangements which is expected in the summer of this year. All in all its seems that the Institutes transition phase is going ahead nicely.

One thing that struck me was the strength of the Scottish Governments commitment to CCS. The Minister for Environment and Climate Change made a strong case that climate change was a global issue and need a global response. He felt that the UK and Scotland we leading the way in Europe and more positive action from the EU on CCS was needed. He feels that Scotland with its oil and gas industry background has a lot of transferrable skills that can be used in the CCS industry.

Brad Page the CEO of the Institute, stressed that more support for CCS was needed in terms of funding commitments the EU was lagging behind Australia. He too reiterated that the UK was showing leadership in developing a market for CCS. But he also called for a level playing field hjosirljosirting the support for renewables in Germany (€45/t for wind and €100/t for carbon abatement with solar).

There was a panel session led by Graham Sweeney the Chairmen of the European Zero Emissions platform that centred on the low level of CCS deployment in Europe. One of the key conclusions from the panel is that the case for CCS had focused on climate change but had missed its target, because nobody was interested. The case for CCS had to be remade urgently based on job creation and other more material issues.

The European NGO Network launched a new report to coincide with the meeting entitled, Moving CCS Forward in Europe (see to download a copy). One of the key ideas coming out of this report was the idea to establish a EU wide CCS certificate scheme. Utilities would be required to buy certificates to cover the CO2 they emit giving the utilities an income from CO2 abatement. Peter Vis from the European Commission felt that this was a longer term solution, in the near term EPs needed to endorse the 'backloading proposal' or the EU had to move quickly to a market based scheme like the UK.

Overall an interesting meeting, it did not resolve the CCS problem in Europe but at least new ideas to move CCS forward in Europe are being proposed so one does get the feeling that all is not lost, but don't expect anything radical overnjosirt to happen.