At the beginning of December 2023, the Council of the European Union adopted a common position on a draft regulation for a net-zero industry act (NZIA). The draft regulation envisions a framework of measures for reinforcing Europe’s net-zero technology products towards the 2030 climate and energy targets. Its goal is to accelerate the industrial deployment of strategic net zero technology while ensuring quality jobs, EU industry competitiveness and energy independence.
As the proposal is now entering into a crucial phase of negotiations with trilogues (meetings to finalise the legislation between the Commission, the Council, and the Parliament), CO₂ Value Europe urges the EU institutions to support and recognise carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) as a strategic technology to reach the 2030 climate and energy targets.
While we acknowledge the progress made both in the Parliament and the Council’s positions in terms of CCU recognition, CO₂ Value Europe is concerned that identifying it as a “net-zero technology”, and not as a “strategic net zero technology”, can result in creating less incentives for CCU, therefore screeching with other efforts and groundbreaking rules adopted at EU level. Such legislations include the revision of ETS, REDIII, ReFuelEU Aviation or FuelEU Maritime, all recognising the central role of CCU to help drive down emissions for hard-to-abate sectors.
If CCU is not recognized as strategic net zero technology under NZIA, the European Union will undoubtedly send out a contradictory signal to the industrial sector and the society at large, as different EU legislations are mandating for the deployment of CCU for hard-to-abate sectors but this technology is not deemed strategic and sufficiently supported by NZIA.
MAKE THE CASE
The ReFuel EU Aviation Regulation officially adopted last September, includes mandatory shares of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) to be available at the airports. CCU technologies will play a crucial role in the production of renewable aviation fuels at large scale, as the regulation includes:
🔵 Reaching 5% eSAF in 2035 results in producing about 2,5 million tons of renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBOs) and specifically reutilising approximately 7,5 million tons of CO₂ to be combined with renewable hydrogen.
🔵 Reaching 15% eSAF in 2045 results in producing about 7,5 million tons of RFNBOs and reutilising specifically approximately 24 million tons of CO₂ to be combined with renewable hydrogen.
Without the support and recognition of CCU, it is hard to imagine its large-scale deployment, making the above targets virtually impossible to reach.