Reporting on the Networking Dinner – April 2016 Manchester Biannual

This blog was written by Clara Heuberger who is a PhD student at Imperial College London and received funding to attend the Manchester Biannual Meeting from the UKCCSRC ECR Meeting Fund.

Kirsty is the Principal Manager, Public Engagement, at the Global CCS Institute (GCCSI). At the UKCCSRC biannual meeting she gave a special dinner keynote speech, bringing us back to ancient Rome, transforming Jon Gibbins into a Jesus parody, and inspiring us with words of Quintus Horatius Flaccus.

The cancellation of the UK CCS development program has been devastating and brought the academic and industrial CCS community into an uncomfortable situation. Despite Peterhead being a “textbook best practice example”, it was dropped like a hot potato, without prior warning. “How did this happen?”, Kirsty asks. There are few noises coming from the audience. She cheers us up: “We haven’t failed yet.” Horatius helps us out, as he said: “Lift your head over the disappointments of the past.” We have to go forward and learn from the past, instated of feeling defeated. The perception of CCS has changed significantly; ironically just after last November. Now CCS has moved from an obscure future technology to international recognition, receiving good publicity around the UK.

Kirsty encourages us to communicate the versatility of CCS and its potential to provide electricity at negative carbon emissions in combination with biomass. Ultimately, we conclude that CCS is too important to just be given up. The framework still exists, there are still legally binding emission targets, and there is still a “world-class research community”! Thank you Kirsty for these positive words!