The Net-Zero Industry Act – a welcome spotlight and a warning bell for CO2 storage

The European Commission has recently published the Net-Zero Industry Act, a proposal meant to boost the Union’s autonomy when it comes to developing and manufacturing “net-zero technologies”. The Act lists carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) as one of eight key net-zero technologies for achieving the EU’s climate neutrality goals, sets a goal for storing 50 million tonnes of CO2 per year in the EU by 2030, and mandates Member States to clearly state how they will enable carbon capture and storage (CCS).

These targets imply a massive roll-out of CO2 storage projects in the EU over the next decades, whose deployment is expected to be further detailed in the Commission’s forthcoming CCUS strategy. This is a welcome spotlight on CCS as a solution to mitigate residual, hard-to-abate emissions and enable negative emissions, but also a warning bell for the growing CCS project pipeline to be implemented in a just, efficient, and transparent way. This means appropriate public engagement, particularly of local communities affected by the construction and operation of large-scale CO2 storage infrastructure.

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