A leading scientist attached to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) says the world has little chance of keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees if it does not adopt carbon capture and storage technology.

Australia-based Dr Linda Stalker said that while critics have pointed to the expense of the technology, the next phase of its progress includes areas where the costs have been brought down.
CSIRO logo
Stalker, who heads the geosequestration research arm of CSIRO says the world can’t “bury its head in the sand” over carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Both the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) state large scale deployment of CCS is one of the measures needed to keep global temperatures down. In the geosequestration form of CCS, carbon dioxide emissions are removed from industrial processes, oil and gas and buried.

“We can’t bury our heads in the sand about what this all means,” she said. We have to accelerate our activities in [CCS] rapidly if want to make under 2.5 degrees [climate change levels] in the next 20 to 30 years.”

Pioneering projects such as the Boundary Dam coal-fired power plant in Canada has come under fire for not being cost-effective, but Dr Stalker said it had provided valuable real-life data to work with.

“Yes the costs were high but they’ve already identified 30 per cent cost savings on the next phase of the activities. And maybe it’s particularly difficult with coal but there’s a lot of other industrial processes where you could get better value, and manage some low hanging fruit options.”