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The logo of the Global CCS Institute.

The Global CCS Institute (occasionally the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute or GCCSI) is an independent nonprofit organisation established by the Australian government in 2009. Its aim is to accelerate global deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects, in particular commercial scale CCS projects, in response to global warming.

Its emphasis is on knowledge sharing to facilitate development and implementation of CCS, and fact-based advocacy.

Background[edit | edit source]

In September 2008, the then Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced[1] the intention to establish a "carbon capture and storage initiative". The Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute was launched in April 2009 as "an initiative to help drive global cooperation on CCS projects and technologies."[2] with a commitment of $100 million per year of funding from the Australian federal government and an aim to co-ordinate and accelerate international efforts to demonstrate commercial effectiveness of CCS.[3]

Australian governments, both state and federal, had previously funded research and development on clean coal technology, including carbon capture and storage, notably through the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies[1] (CO2CRC). (See Carbon capture and storage in Australia.) The Global CCS Institute was established with a global scope to assist the development and broad implementation of CCS technologies.

As of June 2012, membership of the institute, by governments and organizations with an interest in CCS, was 349.[4] Membership of the institute involves a commitment to promote, facilitate and participate in accelerating CCS projects, but not necessarily a financial commitment.[5]

The institute's head office is in Canberra, Australia, and it is also represented in North America, Europe[6] and Japan.[7]

Funding sources[edit | edit source]

The federal Australian government originally pledged $100 million per year. This has been cut back In January 2011 the government announced cuts and deferments in the wake of the expensive 2010–2011 Queensland floods, at the same time as entirely scrapping other carbon-reduction programs.[8]

It has also received US$1 million funding from the US Department of State for work targeting CCS development in developing countries.[9]

Other support includes a donation from the European Commission[10] and in-kind contributions from the Japanese government and industry.[11]

Scope and activities[edit | edit source]

The institute focuses on collecting and sharing knowledge about CCS, raising awareness of CCS, its benefits and of the steps needed for implementation.

Knowledge sharing[edit | edit source]

The institute collects information for the purpose of creating "a central repository for CCS knowledge." It provides analysis and disseminates information to "fill knowledge gaps and build capacity." In some cases it provides assistance to projects to share the knowledge generated.[12] The grant from the US Department of State, mentioned above, is for the assistance of the institute's knowledge sharing role, in the context of developing countries.[9]

The institute issues reports on specific aspects of carbon capture and storage - reporting on projects from research through to large-scale implementations, as well as technologies, financial issues and methodologies.

The status of carbon capture and storage projects around the world[3] and the factors leading to their progress or lack of progress are covered in a report, The Global Status of CCS (published so far in 2010 and 2011), examining the progress and challenges for CCS projects.[13]

The CEO, Brad Page,[14] has stated that "we have always been a knowledge acquirer and a knowledge sharer."[10]

Financial assistance has been provided to assist projects with knowledge sharing and filling in knowledge gaps, especially for early CCS projects, at the same time helping to build the CCS knowledge repository[15] - and in some cases specifically to share the knowledge generated.[12] The institute expected in 2010 to grant AUD 50 million in funding for global carbon capture and storage projects around the world to overcome barriers to implementation.[5] For example Project Pioneer, in Alberta, Canada, was awarded $5 million in funding from the institute to support knowledge sharing.[16] Carrying out CCS projects themselves can cost hundreds of millions of dollars or more, and are not within the institute's budget.[11]

Advocacy[edit | edit source]

The institute aims to raise awareness of CCS, its benefits, and mechanisms for implementation.[12]

The institute aims to understand and address negative opinions of CCS among the public, which are considered to be a potential barrier to CCS,[3] and to increase awareness of the benefits of CCS as part of a suite of low carbon technologies. The institute describes its advocacy role as "fact-based advocacy", intended to influence low carbon policies at both national and international levels.[17]

Positions[edit | edit source]

Representatives of the Global CCS Institute, along with the Australian government, have taken the position that CCS and renewable energy technologies are not competing alternatives, but rather are complementary responses to the need for carbon dioxide emission reductions, and that CCS is a necessary part of the global response to climate change.[18]

~The Prime Minister told its first meeting, attended by ambassadors from some of the 16 governments and representatives of the 40 companies that have signed on to the venture, that if the institute failed to prove the viability of the technology "the challenge of global climate change action will be even greater than we currently contemplate".[3]

Reception[edit | edit source]

NOTE ON THIS DRAFT: I'm inclined to not put this section in - it is not strictly necessary, and I personally don't think these are well-informed opinions by Abbott and Milne. But I'm also aware that if I don't put it in, someone else may do so at some point, with less attempt at balance.

The institute, and CCS-related funding in general, has faced opposition outside of the ruling Australian Labor Party. The Australian federal Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott, who is a critic of many of the government's climate change mitigation policies, has stated that he would eliminate funding to the Global CCS Institute.[19]

Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, has argued that "the coal industry should be paying for its own research".[20]

References[edit | edit source]


See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Global Carbon Capture and Storage Initiative, press release by the Prime Minister of Australia and the Minister for Resources, 19 September 2008.
  2. Launch of the Global CCS Institute, media release by the Prime Minister of Australia and the Minister for Resources, 16 Apr 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Climate clock is ticking is Rudd warning to carbon capture body, Lenore Taylor, The Australian, April 17, 2009.
  4. Membership - Global CCS Institute
    List of Members, 11 June 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 World cool on Rudd's clean coal funding, Sid Maher, The Australian, March 29, 2010
  6. Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, description on the website of the Australian government's Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
  7. Global CCS Institute opens office in Japan - Global CCS Institute news, 28 Sep 2011.
  8. Gillard confirms one-off flood levy, Sydney Morning Herald, January 27, 2011.
    First cut is the greenest for flood surgery, Peter Martin, Sydney Morning Herald, January 28, 2011.
    Swan takes axe to failed green schemes, Sid Maher, The Australian, May 11, 2011
  9. 9.0 9.1 New Funding for Institute to Support Carbon Capture Efforts in Developing Nations, media release by the Prime Minister of Australia and the Minister for Resources, 09 October 2010]
    US Department of State funds Institute for Capacity Development and Knowledge Sharing targeting developing countries - Global CCS Institute - $500,000 granted
    Progress Report on Activities - For the Period 1 July to 30 November 2011 - grant extended, doubling the funding to US$1 million
  10. 10.0 10.1 Carbon capture caught in a rut?, 7.30,Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Michael Atkin, 14/02/2012.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Atkin, Michael. "Cloud hangs over Rudd's clean coal vision", ABC News (Australia), February 15, 2012.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Key Focus Areas, Global CCS Institute Annual Review 2011, Global CCS Institute website.
  13. The Global Status of CCS: 2010 Global CCS Institute, 08 Mar 2011.
    The Global Status of CCS: 2011, Global CCS Institute, 04 Oct 2011.
  14. Brad Page, profile, Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute website.
  15. Global CCS Institute Funds Projects to Build Knowledge Repository, media release, 12 Oct 2010
  16. TransAlta - Report on sustainability - Highlights and challenges
  17. About the Institute, Global CCS Institute website.
  18. "Opponents of this technological response to climate change need to look at the facts, acknowledge the need for CCS, and understand that this can be done in concert with the development of a suite of other clean energy technologies." - Minister Thanks Attendees for Positive Inaugral Global Carbon Capture & Storage Institute Meeting, Australian government media release, 17 April 2009.
  19. Abbott to axe clean-coal funding, Sydney Morning Herald, July 20, 2010.
  20. Emma Rodgers, "Rudd unveils $100m clean coal plan", ABC News, September 19, 2008.
  21. openCCS front page, Global CCS Institute website.

External links[edit | edit source]

Category:Non-profit organizations based in Australia Category:International organizations

Discussion[View | Edit]

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