McKinsey&Company, 2008

Fossil fuels are forecasted to continue to play a major part of the energy mix to at least 2050. One of the solutions being discussed to reduce GHG emissions from fossil fuel energy generation is CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS). CCS is a group of technologies for capturing the CO2 emitted from power plants and industrial sites; compressing this CO2; and transporting it to suitable permanent storage sites, such as deep underground. CCS could also provide the main means of curbing emissions from heavy industrial sectors such as steel, cement and refineries, which together account for around 10-15 percent of Europe’s CO2 emissions.

Previous reports have estimated the potential impact of CCS in 2030 at between 1.5 and 4 Gt/year of abatement globally. The McKinsey/Vattenfall cost curve 1.03 estimated the global potential at 3.6 Gt/year, and in Europe at 0.4 Gt/year – around 20 percent of the total European abatement potential in 2030.

For the reference case (defined for new coal power installations, which is the basis for the cost calculations) of new coal power installations, CCS costs could come down to around € 30-45 per tonne of CO2 abated in 2030 – which is in line with expected carbon prices in that period. Early demonstration projects will typically have a significantly higher cost of € 60-90 per tonne.

Storage is a key uncertainty that will determine the shape of the CCS roll-out. Experts believe there is sufficient storage potential in Europe for at least several decades. Depleted oil and gas fields, one key option, are well known and lie mostly in the North Sea, while deep saline aquifers, the other key option, are more widespread but also less researched and understood. In an ideal case, deep saline aquifers will be available locally for main emission clusters, but it is possible that longer transport and offshore storage may be required for some areas.

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F. Verheijen, S. Jeffery, A.C. Bastos, M. van der Velde, I. Diafas, 2010

Biochar is defined as “charcoal" (biomass that has been pyrolysed in a zero or low oxygen  environment) for which, owing to its inherent properties, scientific consensus exists that application to soil at a specific site is expected to sustainably sequester carbon and concurrently improve soil functions (under current and future management), while avoiding short- and long-term detrimental effects to the wider environment as well as human and animal health."

Biochar is a stable carbon (C) compound created when biomass (feedstock) is heated to temperatures between 300 and 1000ºC, under low (preferably zero) oxygen concentrations. The objective of the biochar concept is to abate the enhanced greenhouse effect by sequestering C in soils, while concurrently improving soil quality. The proposed concept through which biochar application to soils would lead to C sequestration is relatively straightforward. Carbondioxide from the  atmosphere is fixed in vegetation through photosynthesis. Biochar is subsequently created through pyrolysis of the plant material thereby potentially increasing  its recalcitrance with respect to the original plant material.

The estimated residence time of biochar-carbon is in the range of hundreds to thousands of years while the residence time of carbon in plant material is in the range of decades. Consequently, this would reduce the CO2 release back to the atmosphere if the carbon is indeed persistently stored in the soil. The carbon storage potential of biochar is widely hypothesised, although it is still largely unquantified, particularly when also considering the effects on other greenhouse gasses, and the secondary effects of large-scale biochar deployment.

Concomitant with carbon sequestration, biochar is intended to improve soil properties and soil functioning relevant to agronomic and environmental performance. Hypothesised mechanisms that have been suggested for potential improvement are mainly improved water  and nutrient retention (as well as improved soil structure, drainage).

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Ross W. Gorte, 2009

Widespread concern about global climate change has led to interest in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and, under certain circumstances, in counting additional carbon absorbed in soils and vegetation as part of the emissions reductions. Forests are a significant part of the global carbon cycle. Plants use sunlight to convert CO2, water, and nutrients into sugars and carbohydrates, which accumulate in leaves, twigs, stems, and roots. Plants also respire, releasing CO2. Plants eventually die, releasing their stored carbon to the atmosphere quickly or to the soil where it decomposes slowly and increases soil carbon levels. However, little information exists on the processes and diverse rates of soil carbon change.

Land use changes—especially afforestation and deforestation—can have major impacts on carbon storage. Foresters often cut some vegetation to enhance growth of desired trees. Enhanced growth stores more carbon, but the cut vegetation releases CO2; the net effect depends on many factors, such as prior and subsequent growth rates and the quantity and disposal of cut vegetation. Rising atmospheric CO2 may stimulate tree growth, but limited availability of other nutrients may constrain that growth.

In this context, timber harvesting is an especially controversial forestry practice. Some argue that the carbon released by cutting exceeds the carbon stored in wood products and in tree growth by new forests. Others counter that old-growth forests store little or no additional carbon, and that new forest growth and efficient wood use can increase net carbon storage. The impacts vary widely, and depend on many factors, including soil impacts, treatment of residual forest biomass, proportion of carbon removed from the site, and duration and disposal of the products. To date, the quantitative relationships between these factors and net carbon storage have not been established.

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Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS). August 2004.

The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (part of the Joint Research Centre - European Commission) has commissioned a study entitled ‘The Future Impact of ICTs on Environmental Sustainability’, which aims to explore (qualitatively) and to assess (quantitatively) the way that ICTs will influence environmental sustainability between now and 2020. This study is the first quantitative projection to be carried out on how ICTs could affect the environment in the European Union. In order to estimate the effects of ICTs on a set of five environmental indicators, the project team adopted an innovative methodology combining qualitative scenario-building and quantitative modelling.

OECD, 2009

The OECD Project on Sustainable Manufacturing and Eco-innovation was launched in 2008. Its aim is the acceleration of sustainable industrial production through the diffusion of existing knowledge and the facilitation of the benchmarking of products and production processes. It also aims to promote the concept of eco-innovation and to stimulate the development of new technological and systemic solutions to global environmental challenges for the medium to long term.

Download this file (Eco_innovation.pdf)Eco_innovation.pdf[ ]

European Automobile Manufacturers Association

The European automobile manufacturers are fully committed to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from cars and have a credible track record of practical, innovative and affordable solutions. To make further progress, concerted effort is required. Climate change is a complex and global challenge. Singling out the automobile industry will fail to achieve sufficient environmental gains and will put car manufacturing in Europe at risk. The sensible solution is an integrated approach, combining further developments in vehicle technology with an increased use of alternative fuels, intelligent traffic management, changes in driving style and car use, and CO2-related taxation. This requires partnership between the fuel industry, policy makers, drivers and the automotive industry.

The CO2 Capture Project (CCP) is a partnership of the world’s leading energy companies, working with academic institutions and government organisations to research and develop technologies to help make CO2 capture and geological storage (CCS) a practical reality for reducing global CO2 emissions and tackling climate change.

CO2 Capture and Geological Storage is a technological process to capture CO2 emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants and other industrial processes and then store the CO2 deep underground in geological formations securely away from the atmosphere.

CO2 Capture Project


The FANTASIE project is a major EU research project looking at developments in transport technologies and the effects that these will have on Europe’s future transport systems. In addition, the project will look at how these technologies may influence, and be influenced by, the aims and related initiatives of the Union’s Common Transport Policy.

Download this file (Fantasie-1.pdf)Fantasie-1.pdf[ ]

European federation for Transport and Environment. August 2008.

The European Union is committed under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8 per cent by 2008-2012 compared to the 1990 level.Transport is the worst performing sector under Kyoto and seriously jeopardises the achievement of the targets. Transport CO2 emissions in the EU grew by 35% between 1990 and 2006. Other sectors reduced their emissions by 3% on average over the same period. The share of transport in CO2 emissions was 21% in 1990, but by 2006 this had grown to 28%3. The European Environment Agency estimates that cars are responsible for 14% of CO2 emissions.

European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants, 2010

The European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants (ZEP) is a unique coalition of stakeholders united in their support for CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) as a key technology for combating climate change. The companies, scientists, academics and environmental NGOs that together make up ZEP have three main goals: enable CCS as a key technology for combating climate change, make CCS commercially viable by 2020 via an EU-backed demonstration programme and accelerate R&D into next-generation CCS technology and its wide deployment post-2020. Founded in 2005, ZEP is one of 35 European Technology Platforms initiated by the European Commission to bring together a range of stakeholders to guide the development and deployment of key technologies that will result in greater competitiveness, growth and sustainability in the EU – including CCS.

Zero Emissions Platform

Download this file (Technologies_Zero_Emission_Platform.pdf)CO2 Capture and Storage[ ]

Transport Research Laboratory (TRL)
Transport Studies Unit (TSU) & Environment European Agency (EEA), 2008

Using reduction of greenhouse gases and additional ancillary benefits as criteria to determine success, the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) undertook an extensive review of case studies from across the EEA member countries by going through more than 10 different data bases. This initial review identified very few good examples of post-implementation evaluation reports, including results on carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions.

Download this file (reducing_gas_emission.pdf)reducing_gas_emission.pdf[ ]