Net Zero and beyond: creating a carbon storage market

Professor Stuart Haszeldine

Professor Stuart Haszeldine, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh

The presentation is available on YouTube. You can watch and listen to it here.   Net Zero and beyond: creating a carbon storage market

Since the early 1700’s, industrial societies have continually borrowed fossil carbon from the earth and funded a lavish lifestyle by overspending on their carbon credit card. Lack of repayment now results in penalties ranging from forest fires, hurricanes, absent arctic ice, and unhealthy oceans. Multiple types of action are needed to reduce embedded over-borrowing of carbon: energy efficient consumption, energy switching to minimum carbon, capture of carbon emissions from industry and heat, and payment of carbon debt by recapture of already emitted carbon.  Global actions have focused entirely on making carbon (a little) more expensive and on weak rules to reduce emissions. But no action has been taken to enforce (re)capture and storage of carbon. It is not possible to balance residual carbon emissions without storage. I will explain the basics of Carbon capture and storage, its applications to climate change mitigation, why nature based solutions are good, but insufficient, compared to a portfolio of Negative Emissions Technologies. But, following 25 years of failure and avoiding the problem, corporations with global leadership are now seeking engineered and technology solutions. European oil companies are choosing between change or extinction. And the UK has started on an unprecedented journey to build a carbon capture and storage network in each industrial region. However none of this is enough to succeed, unless a compulsory new market in carbon storage can ensure that one tonne of carbon extracted is balanced by one tonne of carbon recaptured and stored.


Professor Stuart Haszeldine is a geologist who researches and teaches GeoEnergy systems and climate at the University of Edinburgh. He led the first systematic appraisals from 2004 of carbon dioxide storage deep below the North Sea. He has subsequently participated with industry and Government in several attempts to develop CCS. He has been advisor to BEIS Chief Scientist, the pivotal 2016 Oxburgh Report on CCS, and currently the CCS Advisory Group to Energy Minister. He was awarded the Geological Society global William Smith Medal in 2011, and appointed OBE for climate services in 2012. By working with oil companies, the UK may construct and operate CCS in 2024, to achieve sustained Net Negative emissions beyond 2050.

Tweet link opens new window Tweet