IEA Report: Companies Should Not Rely Only on Carbon Capture Technologies

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The Canadian oil and gas industry has made carbon capture and storage an essential component of its decarbonization initiatives. However, a new report from the International Energy Agency advises against relying too much on technology as global temperatures rise.

According to a recent report by the IEA, they emphasized how important it is for oil and gas companies to drop the belief that unrealistically substantial levels of carbon capture alone can resolve the massive challenges posed by the global climate crisis.

Technology for carbon capture and storage uses techniques to absorb harmful greenhouse gas emissions from industrial operations and store them safely underground.

The oil and gas industry’s decarbonization objectives in Canada now strongly focus on carbon capture and storage.

Oil sands companies have come together with a $16.5 billion carbon capture and storage project proposal in northern Alberta. They believe that this effort will help them reach their goal of having net-zero manufacturing emissions by 2050.

Additionally, the federal government attempts to promote investment in the expensive technology by offering tax credits to companies that implement carbon capture programs. It is anticipated that legislation implementing the tax credit will be introduced in a few weeks.

While the IEA report acknowledges that carbon capture is an important tool in the battle against climate change, particularly when it comes to offsetting emissions from industries for which there are no practical alternatives, it also issues a warning against creating “unrealistic anticipations” and an excessive reliance on this technology.

According to the report, in order to meet the 1.5 degree Celsius global temperature increase objective set by the international community in the Paris Agreement, an “inconceivable” 32 billion tons of emissions would need to be stored by carbon capture by the year 2050.

“The amount of electricity needed to power these technologies would be greater than the entire world’s electricity demand today,” the report said, adding that the total amount of carbon capture would additionally require a boost in spending, from $4 billion in 2022 to $3.5 trillion by 2050.

The report also suggests that oil and gas companies should contemplate expanding into renewable energy sources instead of solely relying on carbon capture as a means to sustain their current operations.

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Written by Olivia Woods

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