North West MEP leading debate on promoting Low Carbon Economy

Theresa Griffin MEP today hosted a high-level parliamentary hearing regarding Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and how Europe’s industrial growth can be sustainable while meeting its decarbonisation objectives.

Sponsored by the Zero Emissions Platform (ZEP), senior representatives from industry, trade unions and NGOs were present at the event, along with political stakeholders, MEPs and the Commission, to debate the future of the CCS industry.

Panellists included, Jos Delbeke, Director General DG Climate Action, Phillip Pear on of the ETUC and Jill Duggan from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership.

In her speech, Theresa Griffin emphasised the need to balance energy security, sustainable industry, particularly heavy industry, the safeguarding of jobs and our climate objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40%, increasing renewables to 27%, increasing energy efficiency by 30% and reforming the greenhouse gas Emission Trading Scheme. She told the audience that CCS is part of a suite of solutions as it is clean, affordable and reliable – it exploits local and diversified fossil fuel resources effectively, both in terms of cost and environmental impact.

She highlighted that the White Rose Project in Yorkshire and the Humber will be receiving €300m of European funding for a new power plant which will be Europe’s first testbed for CCS and is expected to support around 2000 jobs.

Speaking from Brussels, MEP Theresa Griffin said: “It is crucial that we recognise the importance of CCS, and what it can bring to industrial growth across the UK and throughout Europe. It was an extremely interesting debate and I hope we can go forward with an EU-wide CCS strategy. There is a need for urgent and co-ordinated action to protect jobs, our manufacturing base and the climate.

“As we move towards a more sustainable solution to heavy industry and energy security we must also keep in mind our climate objectives – CCS will be a key part of this. I will be working to ensure that CCS targets will be included in our 2030 energy and climate framework.”

CCS has been taking place successfully for over three decades in Norway where two plants at Sleipner and Snøhvit have stored the equivalent of 770 Olympic swimming pools full of CO2 per year.

The European Council have confirmed that it will continue to offer important support for advancing the CCS technology to its commercial deployment.