Briefing Paper

Briefing Paper 176 (2015)   

A Turning Point in the EU’s Climate Policy?
Carbon capture and the third period of the emissions trading scheme

Publicerad 15.4.2015

Jarkko Levänen
The Finnish Institute of International Affairs

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The scope of the global climate policy is changing towards the post-2020 situation and the stringent regulation of carbon-intensive activities. A more ambitious climate policy is needed because global climate change shows no signs of abating – on the contrary, it seems to be worsening.

The third period (2013–2020) of the EU’s emissions trading scheme, the EU ETS, is critical because during this time European carbon markets should finally start to function as planned since the initiation of the market mechanism.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one of the solutions associated with the success of the EU ETS, and numerous CCS technologies are already technologically viable, but the EU ETS is still not capable of encouraging investments in CCS.

The biggest short-term challenges in the promotion of CCS are: 1) increasing financial interest in supporting the further development of different forms of CCS, and 2) achieving a wide consensus on the significant decrease of emission allowances.

During the 2020–2050 time period, the largest CCS potential will be found outside traditional energy production. CCS applications that are based on mineral carbonation or bioenergy are good examples of promising CCS technologies.