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Global CCS Institute

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The logo of the Global CCS Institute.

The Global CCS Institute is an independent nonprofit organisation with the aim of accelerating global deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects, especially commercial scale CCS.

About the Global CCS Institute:

Background[edit]

The institute was established by the Australian government and is based in Canberra, but is global in its focus, and has offices in Europe, North America[1] and Japan.[2]

Carbon capture is expected to play an important role in reducing carbon emissions. This is in addition to a large-scale increase in renewable energy, rather than in opposition to it.

Activities[edit]

Its emphasis is on collaboration and knowledge sharing to facilitate development and implementation of CCS.

The philosophy is one of "fact-based advocacy". Regardless of your position on CCS (whether you believe it's part of the solution, or are a renewables-only activist) the Global CCS Institute website is a useful source of information.

Specific activities include:

Funding[edit]

Funding was cut following the 2010-11 floods in Queensland, which caused billions of dollars damage. This was part of a broad range of budget cuts. By this stagea carbon price was in the works, in the form of a carbon tax[3] and this has become the government's central policy in tackling climate change. However the government has expressed commitment to continue supporting the institute.

Carbon capture controversy[edit]

Opposition leader Tony Abbott,W who has expressed scepticism about climate change, during the 2010 election promised to slash funding to a range of climate change mitigation programs, and axe the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute. Rather than divert the money to other climate initiatives, the promises involved removing billions of dollars from climate change programs.[4] This, together with fierce opposition to the Australian carbon pricing scheme introduced in mid-2012, amounts to a stance that climate change is a less important issue even than suggested by the modest steps taken by the Australian government.

The Australian Greens have argued for funding to go to equivalent programs in renewable energy rather than funding CCS, including the Global CCS Institute. The institute's response, along with others in the CCS and fossil fuels sectors, is that coal will remain an important source of energy for decades to come, alongside the growing renewable energy sector. An enormous coal-fired power generation capacity already exists, and new plants being built at a fast rate, particularly in China.

Developing cost-effective CCS is the only practical way to mitigate the carbon emissions of these plants. In particular, for the many existing plants which have been built without CCS, cost-effective post combustion capture will be essential to allow continued operation as part of a low-carbon economy.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, description on the website of the Australian government's Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.
  2. Global CCS Institute opens office in Japan - Global CCS Institute news, 28 Sep 2011.
  3. Gillard confirms one-off flood levy, Sydney Morning Herald, January 27, 2011.
  4. Coalition growing cooler towards climate policy, Adam Morton, (Opinion), Sydney Morning Herald, July 21, 2010.