NEWS

Germany should allow offshore carbon storage on its territory – economy minister

Germany should allow carbon storage on its territory, economy and climate minister Robert Habeck said at an energy summit by business daily Handelsblatt in Berlin. Claiming that CO2 should be captured and stored “but not in Germany” was wrong, he said. Carbon should be stored “on German territory, although I mainly look at the offshore areas,” Habeck said. The Green Party politician said he wanted to use carbon capture and storage or use (CCS/U) primarily in “hard-to-abate industry sectors,” adding that it was necessary to use “every technology to reduce CO2 emissions.”

Germany has a long history of public opposition to carbon storage, with the Green Party among its fiercest critics for a long time. People have worried about what is often portrayed as the uncontrollable risks of storage and oppose using it as a lifeline for coal-fired power plants. The country’s carbon storage law means it is currently impossible to start a CO₂ storage project in Germany but the government aims to change this, arguing that CCS will be needed to reach climate neutrality, especially to tackle emissions in certain industrial sectors. In addition, storage is needed for carbon removed from the atmosphere, for example through direct air capture technology. The government is currently finalising its delayed carbon management strategy, which would define guidelines for dealing with CCS and CCU. Habeck declined to say when it would be presented. The European Commission is set to present its proposal on carbon management on 6 February.

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