CCS as geoengineering


Information about Carbon Capture and Storage - CCS

CCS as a geoengineering practice

Carbon capture and storage can be considered a geoengineering or climate engineering practice as far as it is an attempt to counter the climate change threat by means of an engineering technics rather than engaging with the root causes of anthropogenic climate change.


CCS differs on the orher hand from the other geoengineering proposals with respect to recognition as described on the front page. CCS has a massive and very powerful lobby. But progress is lagging behind promises.



For the proponents of CCS the variant called BECCS or Bio Energy with CCS is the most promising of promises.

Briefly it is about pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere by way of burning biomass in power plants equipped with CCS.

The argument for this is that the carbon captured in the biomass by way of the photosynthesis during growth will be captured again after the combustion in the power plant and sequestered in underground geological formations. The net result being that CO2 is removed from the atmosphere.


NOAH Friends of the Earth Denmark is of the opinion that BECCS does not take into account that the stock of biomass is a depletable resource if subjected to this technology. There is simply not enough sustainable biomass available. Also the energy penalty associated with CCS will apply to BECCS meaning that it will require additionally 25-40% biomass to run the operation. This represents an extraordinary demand on a resource that is already under pressure.

See here NOAH Friends of the Earth Denmark's assessment of the biomass available in Denmark and in the EU.


Ethical considerations about geoengineering

The ethical considerations that apply to geoengineering in general also aplly to CCS.

The EUTRACE project which is a "European Transdisciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering" has developed an Argument Map as an interactive tool to be used to understand the con-and-pro arguments - including the ethical arguments.

We recommend this tool for people who want dig deeper into the question of CCS.