[By Nils Røkke, SINTEF Executive Vice-President for Sustainability]
In order to achieve the targets set out in the Paris Agreement, aiming to keep global warming to within 1.5 degrees higher than pre-industrial levels, it will not be sufficient simply to reduce emissions. We must also actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere and establish a balance between emissions and removal.
Not all industries will be able to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The agricultural sector is a good example. But if we are to achieve total net zero emissions during the next 30 years, we have to capture one CO2 molecule and remove it from the atmosphere for every molecule we release. With between 50 and 70 percent biological material currently being processed in energy recycling plants employing waste incineration, this will make a considerable difference to our carbon accounting.
What does ‘climate-positive’ mean?
Let’s say that you throw away a set of IKEA’s Ivar storage shelves and it ends up in an incineration plant. The shelves contain CO2 extracted from the air by the wood while the tree was living. So, in principle, if we incinerate this wood the entire cycle is carbon neutral. The same amount of the gas is released on incineration as was originally taken up. But if we capture and remove the CO2 during incineration, we also extract some CO2 from the cycle and make a positive contribution to the carbon budget.
This schematic illustrates the principles of the capture and storage of CO2 from biomass – a so called “climate-positive” solution. Illustration: Doghouse/Knut Gangåssæter.
Of course there will be hurdles to negotiate, but these are also created by humans. How we calculate and reward climate-positive approaches is currently unclear, not least within the EU. I have been in Brussels for some years now, and the debate continues to rage about how fast it is possible to store the CO2 locked in biological material. It is argued that this will take longer than the 30-year perspective leading up to 2050.
But we mustn’t let such things prevent us from taking action. There is no doubt that climate-positive systems have to be implemented if we are to achieve carbon neutrality. Globally, we have to remove between five and ten billion tonnes net of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere by 2050. In Norway, the figures are about the same, but we’re talking millions, not billions of tonnes. Our ability to achieve this will depend on the measures that we implement and which of these has the greatest impact.
And we have to bear in mind that such measures involve technologies that must be applied in addition to, and not simply replace, other initiatives such as electrification and lifestyle changes.
What does Brussels have to say about CCS?
Brussels views CCS as a necessary measure. There is no doubt that it is essential if we are to achieve the decarbonisation of industry and the transport sector, to provide heat and power, and to open the door to the use of hydrogen, which can also be generated from biomass using CCS. But we need countries that can lead the way, with vision that extends beyond the end of their noses. In my view, our towns and cities must be closely linked to the Norwegian full-scale project. And why not establish links to other urban initiatives taking place across Europe? We all know that passivity is much more expensive for society than taking proactive steps.
The smart things to do are to develop a CO2 transport infrastructure across national boundaries and link CCS to wealth generation and climate-positive initiatives. In this regard, our waste materials are very well suited to such concepts, and it is quite simply amazing to see that others as well as Norway are taking up the challenge. This is not a race to be first to the finishing line considering that we need a few thousand full-scale plants in operation if we are to meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement.
The challenge of climate change and the overriding political ambition within the EU to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 demand that we implement all the measures we can lay our hands on. I often say that the most expensive climate change mitigation measures are the ones we don’t implement. We all know that passivity is much more expensive for society than taking proactive steps.
The project “Longship” is crucial
On September 21, the government announced that they would support the implementation of CO2 capture, transport and storage in Norway. The project was named “Langskip” (Norwegian for Longship). It is crucial that Longship gets linked to our European partners. I am already getting enquiries from Austria (among others) about when they can deliver CO2 to the project.
In the Longship project, the government suggests as a first step to introduce carbon capture at the Norcems cement factory. The government will support CO2 capture at the Fortum Oslo Varmes waste processing plant in Oslo, but first they must secure more funding from the EU Innovation Fund. The fund contains about 1 billion euros, but there is fierce competition: no less than 311 applicants have shown interest, asking for funding totalling 21 billion euros.
CCS is about Norway’s long-term success
The consequences of having or not having full scale CCS in Norway cannot be overestimated. It is quite simply the same as having a car with or without a road. Cities can play a decisive role by following Klimakur’s conclusions, and ambitions can already now be raised. Brussels is tired of hearing about CCS ambitions and wants to see action and real investments in actual projects.
By and large, CCS is about Norway’s long-term success. Starting with job creation and cities is a good plan – but we have to actually do it.
Nils Røkke is SINTEF’s Executive Vice-President for Sustainability.
This essay appears courtesy of Gemini News and is reproduced here in an abbreviated form. It may be found in its original form here.
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
The First DP2, Twin-Hulled SOV in the World, NB72 Groene Wind met the Sea on September 29. 2020 in Yalova, Turkey. The Groene Wind will be directly chartered to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the maintenance of the Rentel and Mermaid & Seastar (known as SeaMade) offshore wind farms in Belgium. This is the first DP2, […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]