The importance of CO2 Capture and Storage - a geopolitical discussion
Paper in proceedings, 2011
The CO2 capture and storage (CCS) technology is now considered to be one of the key options for climate change mitigation. This paper discusses the implications for the further development of CCS, particularly with respect to climate change policy in an international geopolitics context.
The rationale for developing CCS should be the over-abundance of fossil fuel reserves (and resources) in a climate change context. From a geopolitical point, it can be argued that the most important outcome from the successful commercialisation of CCS will be that fossil fuel-dependent economies will find it easier to comply with stringent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets (i.e. to attach a price to CO2 emissions). This should be of great importance since, from a geopolitical view, the curbing on GHG emissions cannot be isolated from security of supply and economic competition between regions. Thus, successful application of CCS may moderate geopolitical risks related to regional differences in the possibilities and thereby willingness to comply with large emission cuts. In Europe, application of CCS will enhance security of supply by fuel diversification from continued use of coal, especially domestic lignite. In contrast, failure to implement CCS will require that the global community, including Europe, agrees to almost immediately to start phasing out the use of fossil fuels, an agreement which seems rather unlikely, especially considering the abundant coal reserves in developing economies such as China and India.