Our Common Future Under Climate Change conference, Paris 2015

The ‘Our Common Future Under Climate Change’ conference in Paris made clear that urgent action is needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change. A wide range of possible solutions were discussed. Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) was frequently mentioned as an important option for a low carbon future.

Ton Wildenborg, CO2GeoNet President,  presented one of the keynote talks and Ceri Vincent, CO2GeoNet ExCo Chair, spoke about assured geological storage capacity in the parallel session ‘negative emissions for climate change stabilization and the role of CO2 geological storage’. Ceri also a attended several of the plenary and parallel sessions relating to climate variability and change, tipping points in the Earth system and pathways to a low carbon future: In almost all these sessions, Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) was discussed, either in the presentations or in the following discussions. The view on CCS was generally positive, through the agreement on the technology readiness level was not always homogeneous. During the conference, CO2GeoNet, EERA, GCCSI and IEAGHG prepared a joint press release to reinforce CCS as a viable and flexible climate change mitigation technology ready for deployment.

Another interesting  viewpoint, expressed by various stakeholders during the conference, was that we are currently undertaking a global-scale experiment by not reducing our emissions (‘it’s all leaking at the moment’) and all the models suggested the outcome of this experiment would be a less than positive experience for the human race. The view expressed at the conference was that compared with this ‘global experiment’ it seemed a less risky strategy to demonstrate/deploy well-researched mitigation techniques/technologies (‘comparatively small scale experiments’) than to do nothing about our emissions.