Carbon dioxide capture and storage is considered one of the key technologies to combat climate change. Germany’s recent decision to approve it has raised new concerns, while its future may depend more on EU-wide factors.
Just days after the German government enacted a controversial law regulating carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier seemed to renounce it.
A plan to store carbon dioxide (CO2) shouldn’t be enforced against the will of the general public, said Altmaier. He didn’t see one single German state with the necessary political support for a power plant using CCS technology.
The carbon dioxide Altmaier was referring to would be from power plants that emit fossil fuels. In an effort to offset these emissions, CCS gives these facilities an alternative way to dispose of CO2 by pumping underground.
Before Altmaier’s comments, German states had already demanded that the government allow them to opt out of the law. The new CCS legislation contains an exit clause that allows states to ban CO2 storage within their borders.
While some German states have already embraced the new technology, other states will likely use the exit clause to prevent CCS in their own territories. Meanwhile, economic and European Union interests may override those of the states.