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On 6 February, the European Commission released two key communication pieces on the EU’s climate future: the Communication on the 2040 climate target and the Industrial Carbon Management Communication. The Communication on the 2040 climate target sets an ambitious 90% GHG emissions reduction target in Europe by 2040 compared to 1990, while acknowledging Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) as part of the low carbon energy solutions necessary to decarbonise the energy system by 2040 and the development of CCU to increase the establishment of non-fossil feedstock as a substitute to fossil fuels in carbon-based products. The Industrial Carbon Management Strategy (ICMS) very explicitly gives a crucial role to CCU as an essential and innovative aspect of an industrial carbon management value chain to produce advanced synthetic fuels, chemicals, polymers or minerals, highlighting that up to a third of captured CO2 could be utilised in 2040 – and up to 45% in 2050 (amounting to up to 200Mt CO2).

Despite much progress over the last few years, CCU has not been systematically referenced and incentivised consistently in EU policies concerning climate transition and the European Commission’s clear and explicit recognition of the need to deploy CCU in its recent communications is a major step forward. However, this is only the beginning of the journey of having CCU consistently supported by EU policies. The 2040 climate target and the ICMS are pointing Europe in the right direction, but to move away from a fossil economy, additional rules are needed on accounting, products, and production to disincentivise the use of virgin fossil carbon and incentivise the use of captured carbon; for example, under current EU rules, using oil to produce chemicals is treated as equal to using captured carbon to create that same chemical.

CO2 Value Europe looks forward to contributing to the work of EU institutions to reach a 90% reduction of GHG emissions in Europe by 2040 and deploying CCU technologies at scale, particularly through the results from our quantitative assessment of CCU’s contribution to climate objectives.

Read our full statement at here.

Read our quantitative assessment report here.