It is widely believed that the UK and the world cannot meet their climate change targets without the wide scale deployment of negative emissions technologies, such as CCS. Indeed, the International Energy Agency (IEA) argue that CCS “will be crucial to limiting future temperature increases to well below 2 degrees”. Meanwhile, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) say that achieving the UK’s emissions targets without the use of CCS would be “highly challenging and likely to be much more costly to achieve”. 

A particularly interesting technology in terms of reducing emissions is Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). BECCS burns plants, crops or trees to generate electricity before using CCS technology to capture and store the carbon that is emitted. This means it removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and results in negative emissions. 


CCS can bring an array of economic benefits and therefore the Government have said that they want the UK to be a global leader in the industry.

As mentioned above, CCS helps to decarbonise energy intensive industries, like hydrogen production, steel and cement. Without CCS, these industries may need to be scaled back in order to meet our emissions targets.

There are also wider economic benefits. The Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) argue that the CCS industry could create 100 000 jobs in the UK and contribute £6.5 billion to the economy. It is expected that the CCS industry could be particularly beneficial to areas in the North East, such as Teesside and Humberside.

Furthermore, the (CCSA) argue that countries across the world will need to invest in CCS, meaning by 2050 it could be a global industry worth £5 trillion. If the UK invests in CCS early, it can become a world leader in this industry.


The UK is also uniquely suited to leading the global CCS industry because of our geography. The British Geological Surveybelieve that the storage capacity in the North Sea could be as much as 22 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. 


Date published: 07/11/2018

Last updated: 07/11/2018