As the United Nations Climate Change Conference begins today, Oil Change International revealed the failure of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in Carbon Capture’s Publicly Funded Failure. CCS has a 50 year track record of over-promising and under-delivering, and every investment in CCS provides a lifeline to the fossil fuel industry.
- Governments have spent over USD $20 billion – and are planning up to USD $200 billion more – of public money on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), providing a lifeline for the fossil fuel industry.
- The majority of CCS is used to expand fossil fuel extraction. 79% of the world’s CCS operating capacity sends captured CO2 to produce more oil (via Enhanced Oil Recovery)
- In 2022, Canadian Minister Freeland guaranteed that the CCS tax credit wouldn’t subsidize projects that use carbon for oil production. This week Minister Freeland broke her promise, announcing the tax credit will subsidize projects that sell up to 90% of captured carbon to be used to produce more oil.
- Many of the largest projects in the world operate far below their stated capacity. They are designed only to capture a fraction of the emissions of the plants they serve.
At the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai, fossil fuel phase-out is for the first time at the top of the agenda, as well as an agreement to triple renewable energy and double energy efficiency. It will be key to ensure poorly defined “abatement” technologies, promoted by the fossil fuel industry and government enablers, meant to distract from the need for a full and fair phase out of all fossil fuels will not be included in any final COP28 agreements.
Despite CCS’s appalling performance, governments are preparing to shovel hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money into more CCS. As Governments are preparing to spend up to $200 billion of public money on CCS it has to be clear: CCS is a lifeline for the fossil fuel industry, not people and planet.
Bronwen Tucker, Global Public Finance Manager at Oil Change International, said:
“Canada publicly claims to have ended fossil fuel subsidies, but on day one of the United Nations Climate Change Conference the government has announced billions in new handouts for fossil fuel companies, greenwashed as “carbon capture and storage”. Because the carbon that’s captured will be used to produce more oil and gas, subsidies for CCS are subsidies for fossil fuels, full stop. Oil Change International’s new data shows Canada is second in the world for tax dollars spent on CCS. Instead of throwing away billions to save a dying industry, Canada should announce a strong emissions cap to phase out oil and gas production, and fund a just transition plan for workers and communities.”