Despite efforts, current global emissions continue to rise against the backdrop of world efforts to achieve net-zero by 2050. In 2021, global emissions rebounded by 5%, approaching the 2018/19 peak.
This is the harsh reality. Global greenhouse emissions did decline in 2020 by approximately 5.8%, the largest decline since the 2009 global financial crisis. CO2 emissions fell further than energy demand, owing in part to the global pandemic, which had a negative usage impact on oil and coal, whilst the employment of renewable energy sources increased. Despite the decline in 2020, global energy-related CO2 emissions remained at 31.5Gt and CO2 hit its highest-ever average annual atmospheric concentration of 412.5 parts per million in 2020. That is approximately 50% higher than the start of the industrial revolution.
As the influences of the COVID-19 pandemic recede, CO2 emissions increase with the demand for oil, coal and gas rebounding in line with economic recovery. The global energy-related CO2 emission index showed 20.5Gt of atmospheric CO2 in 1990. In 2021 that figure had risen to 33Gt.
In a report tabling the Green Future Index, the authors took a deep dive analysis into the countries that are the most prepared for a low carbon future. The report, authored by MIT Technology, looked at variable measurements including how countries are reducing their carbon emissions, how they are developing clean energy and how countries are innovating in green sectors. Additionally, the research looks at environmental protection and government climate policies.
The top three ranked countries are Iceland, Denmark and the Netherlands, each with CCS forming a significant part of their decarbonisation strategy and working closely with neighbouring countries such as Norway and Sweden on sharing the technology and collaboration within the CCS sector.
Other sovereignties in the top ten included the UK, which has CCS operating at the DRAX power station, Norway with the Northern Lights CCS project, Finland, Germany, Canada with its Boundary Dam Project and Sweden, each with CCS commitments in place.
According to the report, Australia currently sits in 52nd place, grouped in the field of countries considered ‘climate laggards’. This grouping refers to countries that are making slow or uneven progress toward building a green future.
Whist some countries are heavily invested in resource-heavy economies, such as Russia and others including India, Argentina and Indonesia, struggling with government action on implementing green policies due to the influence of the pandemic, there is little justification for many sitting in the bottom 50 or so countries with the means to employ scalable and sustainable renewable energy options such as CCS immediately into the industrial sector to be lagging behind the rest of the world.
The time is now for climate laggards, including Australia, to take the lead from countries like the UK and aggressively foray into renewables including CCS and create a sustained reduction in CO2 emissions strategy. CCS technology is available now, is scalable and is working in many parts of the world. We must employ all renewable options and CCS is playing a key role in abating CO2 whilst solar, wind and hydro scale to the necessary levels. Without scalable renewables the world will get warmer and buying time with carbon capture and storage is more than an option – it is a necessity.
CCS Energy is committed to forging your path toward net zero emissions. Our expertise can help clients set realistic targets and tap into additional asset value through carbon offset mechanisms available through various global emission trading schemes. Our team members are CSS experts and well engineers, passionate about identifying efficient and cost-effective transition technology to capture and store carbon and reduce your operation’s carbon footprint.
With years of technical experience in the petroleum industry, we can provide all aspects of technical design, project management and regulatory administration.