North West MEP condemns Osborne’s decision to slash support for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

Theresa Griffin MEP for the North-West has today condemned the decision of the UK government to withdraw one of the key sources of funding for future Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects.

Since 2012, the ‘UK Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Commercialisation Competition’ has made £1 billion of capital funding available to promote the design, construction and operation of the UK’s first commercial-scale CCS projects.

Today (25th November 2015), the Government announced, in its annual spending review, that it will be withdrawing this funding, effectively withdrawing real government support for CCS.

Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Theresa Griffin said:

“The government’s decision to cut funding for CCS is damaging as well as inconsistent.

CCS is the only proven technology that can capture at least 90% of C02 emissions from the world’s largest emitters. Meanwhile, the UK Committee on Climate Change has indicated that CCS can halve the cost of decarbonising our economies, especially in the UK.

A recent report for the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology also recommended that the Government should drive forward new capacity in CCS as a matter of urgency.

Therefore, Osborne’s betrayal clearly shows that the Government is overlooking the climate challenges facing the UK.”

Jude Kirton Darling, Member of the European Parliament for the North-East England added:

“Today’s decision is the final nail in the coffin of the lie that this Tory government have any commitment to tackling climate change or defending UK industry.”

“CCS will be a critical component of a low carbon future for Europe. By capturing harmful emissions at the point of production, then transporting and storing them into secure offshore sites, CCS can help tackle climate change and smooth our transition from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy generation. This technology can also provide the only cost effective and sustainable future for many of our beleaguered energy intensive industries, such as steel, cement, fertiliser and chemicals.”

“CCS will not only help secure existing jobs, it has the potential to help create thousands more high-quality, secure positions across Europe, particularly in the UK.”

“This technology, like all large scale innovation, needs clear and consistent government support in its initial development, including financial investment. However, such investment’s often provided high financial returns for the government, while ensuring a vital service is provided for the public.”

“While the U.S, China, Norway, Canada and many other governments around the world recognise just how crucial CCS is, and are investing now, the Conservative Government is instead allowing the UK to miss an excellent opportunity for jobs and growth.”