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Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage

We need to produce less CO2 – but what can we do about the carbon already in the atmosphere?

In addition to reducing our planet’s net production of CO2, we need to invest in permanently removing carbon from the atmosphere. Technology is rapidly advancing to enable us to capture atmospheric carbon and either use or store it in a manner that mitigates the greenhouse effect. In September 2020 the International Energy Agency released its flagship report on the emerging trends, technological advances, and regional opportunities associated with Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS). The report is available here.

Carbon sequestration and storage: One project leading the way in LNG carbon storage is the Gorgon storage project in Australia. The project will reduce the Gorgon LNG facility’s emissions by 40%, burying between 3.4 million and 4 million tonnes of CO2 a year. Another project is the Solid Carbon research project involving scientists from BC, Canada, US and Europe which aims to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and inject it into sub-seafloor basalt where it mineralizes into rock. The project is based out of UVIC and is funded by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

Nature-based solutions: In addition to technologies that capture carbon are nature-based solutions like the restoration of forests and other terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems across the North as well as marine ecosystems such as eel grass and kelp forests. A recent study concluded that nature-based solutions have the potential to sequester many millions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year which can make a substantial contribution to achieving BC’s GHG targets even if fully electrified LNG plants are not developed. For a presentation on the report, click here.