Friday, 30 November 2018


This piece explains what probably lies behind the UK government's renewed enthusiasm for carbon capture and storage. It is bioenergy and CCS (BECCS), and in recent weeks this rather crazy scheme* has been pushed in reports from (among others) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Royal Society, and the UK’s Committee on Climate Change. These were all neatly timed to arrive in time to be digested ahead of the big climate meeting in Katowice in December. It all therefore looks as though Claire Perry, the energy minister, has simply decided to bung a few hundred thousand quid at CCS projects so that the UK can parade its green credentials on the big international stage. The money is just a rather expensive way to virtue signal.

*The idea is to convert a significant proportion of the world’s agricultural land (perhaps a quarter or more) into forest and energy crops to be burnt in power stations, with the emissions captured using CCS. It would probably lead to mass starvation and would undoubtedly be an environmental disaster.

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