From the TUC

Clean coal – all hands on DECC

07 Oct 2008, by in Environment

A crucial European Parliament vote today (October 7) will help define the EU’s view on how to spend 30 billion euros ($40.77 billion) that EU member states will earn annually from selling carbon emissions permits from 2013. The vote could support 10 bn euros of aid for carbon capture and storage (CCS). Many MEPs will have by their side a copy of Green Alliance report, a last chance for coal: making carbon capture and storage a reality, which seeks to demonstrate the strategic importance of CCS – not just for the UK, or even Europe, but globally.

Dealing with CO2 emissions from coal and gas seems unavoidable. Fossil fuels will form a significant part of the energy mix up to 2030 – roughly 70% of global and 60% of EU electricity generation, according to the IEA’s latest assessment.

Funding is a key barrier to CCS deployment. The ITUC’s submission to the UN climate change conference in Posnan will call for the creation of a global Just Transition fund to finance low carbon technologies, skills and training programmes for the low carbon economy, and adaptation programmes in developing countries on the climate change frontline.

In her contribution to the Green Alliance report, Frances O’Grady, TUC Deputy General Secretary, argues that CCS has to become part of a wider green industrial strategy. This view is supported by Mike Farley of the TUC’s Clean Coal Task Group, who shows how industry and unions are working together to find a way forward on this crucial technology.

The EP’s vote will, hopefully, mark the beginning of fund-finding on the massive scale required. Will DECC Ministers then secure the CCS funding and regulatory framework to ensure real industrial progress in the UK?