CCS – a failing pipe dream

In order to justify the dash for gas, the Government is relying on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to allow them to claim that shale gas will not breach existing commitments to climate change gas emission reductions.

The problem is that for all their waffle, it just isn’t happening

As the Guardian reported this week

There are still no functioning commercial scale CCS units on power stations, however, and a long-running government competition offering as much as £1bn to a company willing to build one has suffered numerous setbacks.

Without CCS shale gas cannot be portrayed as a “bridge fuel” to a carbon free economy. Instead it is just a perpetuation of the existing fossil fuel economy.

Now if, against the scientific consensus, you don’t believe in climate change, this won’t bother you. However in the poll of 2,442 people across the UK, reported in the article, about three quarters said they were concerned about climate change, a similar number supported renewable electricity generation and a slightly higher number (79%) said they felt the amount of fossil fuel use should be cut. Whatever the politicians, with their heads deep in the sand, would like to believe, the people of the UK can see what is going on and what needs to happen.

We believe that burning 130tcf of shale gas over the next 30 years without CCS would be incredibly irresponsible and would just pile up problems for future generations. We need to behave like grown ups here and strategise for the future. Behaving as our politicians are currently doing because they seem unable to see past the next election will not help us in the long term.

If we are to avoid irreversible trouble down the line we need to press our MPS to support and develop a proper energy strategy with realistic targets for greenhouse gas reduction and investment in renewable energy.

The shale gas cop out that we are witnessing is the sign of a bankruptcy of political intelligence. We mustn’t tolerate it.

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