The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors was asked by the European Commission to advise on the climate mitigation potential of Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) technologies in view of future policy decisions in this field, including on financial support by the European Union. The main questions put to the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors were:
- Under what circumstances Carbon Capture and Utilization for production of fuels, chemicals and materials can deliver climate benefits and what are their total climate mitigation potential in the mid- and-long-run?
- How can the climate mitigation potential of CO2 incorporated in products such as fuels, chemicals and materials be accounted for considering that the CO2 will remain bound for different periods of time and then may be released in the atmosphere?
The Opinion concludes that:
- CCU may play a role to de-fossilize the economy and help reaching climate change mitigation targets;
- It can contribute to leaving fossil carbon in the ground, and closing the carbon loop above the ground;
- CCU can also accomplish a number of other services to society with a more efficient use of energy;
- The uptake of CCU will depend on the availability of abundant low- carbon energy and a favorable legislative and investment environment;
- The introduction of CCU could start with high-density CO2 streams from industrial processes and progressively move towards capturing CO2 from less dense sources.