Special Issue: Carbon Capture and Storage - The Pembina Institute view - November, 2008

1. Investigating the Potential of CCS:

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) could capture an estimated 15 to 55 per cent of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2100 the Pembina Institutes recent CCS Forum and exclusive interviews explore the potential of this technology.

Carbon capture and storage is gaining attention in Canada and internationally as a means of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial sources such as coal-fired power plants and oil sands operations. CCS refers to the capture of CO2 emissions from industrial sources and the long-term storage of these emissions in stable underground reservoirs. CCS helps combat global climate change by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) released into the atmosphere.

2. Thought Leader Forum: CCS in the Spotlight:

The Pembina Institute views CCS as one of a number of potentially effective technologies for reducing GHG emissions on the scale required to prevent catastrophic climate change. It is also critical that CCS is seen as part of the portfolio of solutions and that we ensure adequate attention is also paid to more sustainable, low-impact solutions such as ramping up renewable energy and energy efficiency. The urgent need to deal with Canada's rising emissions (which are now 22 per cent higher than they were in 1990) compels consideration of CCS, but it is not without environmental risks and barriers to implementation.

To discuss and debate the critical policy questions surrounding the use of CCS in Canada, the Pembina Institute and the University of Calgary's Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment, and Economy (ISEEE) hosted a national Carbon Capture and Storage Thought Leader Forum in Calgary, Alberta, on November 10, 2008. Exclusive videos below present different perspectives on CCS. Watch for our upcoming fact sheet and conference proceedings.

The forum brought together the public and private sectors, academics, land owners, and experts from environmental non-governmental organizations to provide a range of views on some of the key issues, including:

the potential benefits, risks and barriers to pursuing CCS in Canada government, industry and tax payer's responsibilities for the initial costs and liability of developing CCS the long-term liability for monitoring and managing stores of CO2 the carbon price at which CCS becomes a cost-effective solution for industry

3. Seven Thought Leaders on Carbon Capture and Storage:

What role should CCS play as humanity struggles to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid dangerous climate change? We ask a coal guy, an oil sands company, the head of the Sierra Club, climate guru Dr. David Keith, former Reform Party leader Preston Manning and others. Watch these seven video perspectives at our new CCS site:

Dr. David Keith, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment, and Economy (ISEEE) was the keynote speaker at the CCS Forum. He argues that getting serious on climate change requires solutions that take a "really big bite out of emissions". He believes CCS is one such technology. "We have to provide energy services like illumination and mobility with less carbon emissions."

Preston Manning, former leader of the Reform Party, is a big advocate of "full cost accounting" (incorporating the full environmental costs into market prices) as a strategy to reduce GHG emissions. He contends that young people in particular are becoming aware of the environmental consequences of fossil fuel development."We have to figure out what costs are and we have to get the cost into the price of the good."

John Drexhage, Director of Climate Change and Energy International Institute for Sustainable Development has more than 20 years of experience in climate change issues. Drexhage considers CCS as a necessary tool for reducing global warming emissions, but cautions "it's not the be-all-and-end-all either." "We have to look at all of the possibilities including energy efficiency, renewables and other solutions both in Canada and in developing countries."

Graham Saul, Executive Director of the Climate Action Network Canada (CAN is a coalition of Canada's largest organizations working on climate change) sees CCS as an interim solution to bring down GHG emissions in the short term. "In the long term, we need a clean energy revolution in Canada and around the world."

Stephen Kaufman, Director of Business Development, Suncor Energy advocates for using CCS as one of a number of tools to reduce emissions. " could end up being 20 or 30 per cent of the overall reductions that the world has to achieve..."

Stephen Hazell, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada considers continued oil sands development to be detrimental to any effort to reduce GHG emissions. "If we can't get carbon capture and storage to work right, then we really have to think about phasing out the tar sands industry in pretty short order."

Doug MacLeod, Vice President of Environment, EPCOR is a strong advocate for CCS, which is a critical component of EPCOR's carbon management strategy. He believes that without CCS, we will be unable to continue to produce base load electricity using coal. "Whether carbon capture and storage is a transition or an end state really depends on the time frame you are looking at."

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