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Novel carbon capture and utilisation technologies: Research and climate aspects

Research and climate aspects
SAPEA Evidence Review Report No. 2
Informs the European Commission Group of Chief Scientific Advisors Scientific Opinion No. 4/2018

This report aims, within the framework provided by the SAM/HLG Scoping Paper, to assess the climate mitigation potential of Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU), which is defined as “those technologies that use CO2 as a feedstock and convert it into value-added products such as fuels, chemicals or building materials”.

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Novel carbon capture and utilisation technologies

SAPEA Reports

Group of Chief Scientific Advisors

Scientific Opinion 4/2018 (Supported by SAPEA Evidence Review Report No 3)
Brussels, 23 May 2018

The European Union has committed to achieve an economy-wide domestic target of at least 40% greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions for 2030 and at least 80% GHG reductions by 2050. This should allow the EU to contribute to keep global warming well below 2°C as agreed by the almost 200 signatory parties to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Achieving those reduction targets requires the deployment of new and efficient technologies, appropriate legislative and policy initiatives, as well as investments in research and innovation ('R&I') and an appropriate financial framework to facilitate the demonstration and deployment of technologies in the higher range of TRLs (Technology Readiness Level). Among the techniques that can mitigate CO2 emissions are those that are referred to as Carbon Capture and Utilisation that included capture, conversion and hydrogen generating technologies.

The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors was asked by the European Commission to advise on the climate mitigation potential of Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) technologies in view of future policy decisions in this field, including on financial support by the European Union. The decisions should support technologies that are environmentally sound and provide genuine climate benefits.
The main questions put to the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors were:

-Under what circumstances Carbon Capture and Utilisation for production of fuels, chemicals and materials can deliver climate benefits and what are their total climate mitigation potential in the mid-and long-run?

-How can the climate mitigation potential of CO2 incorporated in products such as fuels, chemicals and materials be accounted for considering that the CO2 will remain bound for different periods of time and then may be released in the atmosphere?


This Scientific Opinion provides evidence based answers drawn from a literature review, a scientific expert workshop and stakeholder consultation. Its conclusions can be divided into the following five sections.

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Water for food security and nutrition

Launched on May 15, a landmark report by the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) for the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) argues that access to water is a vital aspect of ensuring improved food security and nutrition. 

Moving beyond the scope of looking at the role of water not only for agriculture but also sanitation, the report calls for an integrated approach at higher levels of policy implementation and governance to ensure that the poorest and most marginalized communities have equitable access to the inputs and resources that they need to improve their lives and livelihoods.

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IDENTITY/STRATEGY

The NATF Strategic Plan is the result of an ensemble of reflections and actions conducted not only within the Academy, but also in concertation with other institutions involved in governance of Research/Innovation in France, notably the Ministry for Higher Education and Research, the Ministry for Industry, the CESE (the national Economic, Social and Environmental Council), OPECST (French Parliamentary Office of Assessment of Scientific and Technology Policy decisions), plus other academies in France and elsewhere via NATF’s active participation in organizations such as Euro-CASE.

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Alain Pavé. On the Origins and Dynamics of Biodiversity: the Role of Chance

Covers both biological and ecological aspects - from the gene to the ecosystem - to outline a "biological" theory of biodiversity
Shows us how these internal mechanisms are analogous to the mechanical devices that bring about “physical chance”
Evaluates the breadth of our knowledge on biodiversity, our possible responses, and the limits of those responses to the spontaneous biological and ecological aspects that we most often overlook