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Do we need a European Strategy for Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and a legislative package with a form and level of ambition similar to the Hydrogen Strategy?


This FSR debate will consider the main issues related to CCUS in the light of recent policy communications, legislative initiatives, and Commission guidelines.

The permanent storage of CO2 in geological formations is an important option to mitigate industrial emissions. To reach the climate neutrality objective of the EU Climate Law, carbon removals will have to be fully integrated into the EU climate policy. To be climate neutral, in 2050 each single tonne of CO2eq allowed under the policy framework to be emitted to the atmosphere will have to be neutralized by a certified tonne of CO2 removed from the atmosphere.

The Commission recognizes that the establishment of the legal framework will be an essential stepping stone towards the recognition of carbon removals in the EU climate policy. Its recent Communication on Sustainable Carbon Cycles aims at establishing sustainable carbon cycles for bio- emissions in European economy and ecosystems. It recognizes that even if this is a long-term endeavour it nevertheless requires coordinated action now.

But are these plans sufficient and timely? Is not the more immediate challenge to establish the role of CCUS for European industry in the energy transition?

Should the Commission already step up its game and take the same level of leadership, vision and determination regarding CCS as it has regarding hydrogen, announce clear targets and deadlines, commit to developing a CCUS Alliance (similar to the hydrogen, battery alliances), and commit to new legislative proposals on CCUS to deliver a cost-effective CCS network? Will the final version of the Climate Energy and Environmental Guidelines for state aid – to be published at the end of 2021 provide clear criteria for assessing the compatibility of financial support for CCUS?


14.00 – 14.05 Introduction to the Debate

Leigh Hancher | Florence School of Regulation

14.05 – 14.15 The Commission’s approach

Chris Bolesta, Decarbonisation and Sustainability of Energy Sources, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission

14.15 – 14.25 FSR initial considerations

Prof Christopher Jones and Prof Andris Piebalgs | FSR


Moderator: Nicolò Rossetto| Florence School of Regulation

14.25 – 14.50 Introductory remarks from the panellists:

Torbjorg Klara Fossum, VP Global CCS Solutions, Equinor ASA; Malcolm Keay, OIES, Oxford; Jonas Helseth, Director Bellona Europa, Brussels.

14.50 – 14.55 Polls

14.55 – 15.15 Comments on the poll’s outcome and Q&A from the audience and panellists

15.20 – 15.30 Concluding remarks

Leigh Hancher | Florence School of Regulation and Tilburg University

Nicolò Rossetto | Florence School of Regulation


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