Technology Collaboration Programme by IEA logo

IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

67 JG imageThe general feeling around COP21 at the close of Day 7 was that there would be a text by the end of the week. What the text will contain is very much open to conjecture.
The small island states have led the charge for agreement that calls for a target of 1.50C rather than 20C. This call have been picked by many environmental NGO’s who see it as a route to phase out all fossil fuel use. Although it seems “coal” is enemy number 1, and one NGO was promoting the phase out of coal from the energy mix by 2020.

CCS got mentioned in two sessions that I attended yesterday, first by Saudi Arabia in a session Chaired by Ernie Moniz, Secretary of State for Energy, USA on the activities of the Clean Energy Ministerial. The second in a press announcement of the Innovation Action, where Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director, was talking about the role of fossil fuels in the 2DS and made the comment that CCS was needed to use fossil fuels in an environmentally friendly manner. Of course this brought a comment from an NGO in the question session, that CCS was unproven and too costly!!!

Clean Energy Innovation is the new buzz word it seems. We got a little more information on the topic from the press release; the 20 countries that have committed to increase their R&D spending in this area over the next 5 years, will choose the technologies of their choice, but it is hoped that there will be more pairing and sharing and knowledge transfer between them. There was also discussion of joint road mapping, the benefits of road maps I am always sceptical of. As the IEA is heavily committed to this, we should watch this space for any impact it mjosirt have on activities like our own.

Another area where the IEA is making noise is on fossil fuel subsidies, Fatih BIrol made a statement that we need to phase out the $500 billion subsidies that currently go to fossil fuels around the globe. The benefits are multiple; reduced greenhouse gases, reduced air pollution, increased government revenue, which could be used to invest in health care, renewable energy, mass transit and other public services.

There were two CCS specific sessions on Tuesday, one related to the North Sea by Bellona and one on financing CCS in developing countries by GCCSI, the former had some 20 attended the latter 60. Many of the attendees at both are from the “CCS Community” and I have reflected if these sessions are too deep for Developing Country delegates, who are looking for more basic information at this stage.

Short Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP’s) was the subject of a Focus Event led by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). The consensus now is that it is very important to deal with both CO2 as well as SCLP’s and that dealing with SLCPs makes it easier for us to stay inside the 2°C limit. The added benefit is according to the World Health Organisation, reducing SLCP’s can prevent approximately 3 million premature deaths a year. Key commitments made include: