In a significant example of ERI research informing government policy, ERI and MaREI researcher Dr James Glynn of the Energy Policy and Modelling Group (MaREI, ERI, School of Engineering) was this week invited to provide input into the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill in relation to the role of carbon capture and offsetting in reaching carbon neutrality.
The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action is currently conducting pre-legislative scrutiny of bill which proposes that Ireland moves to a climate neutral economy and net zero emissions by 2050. This ambition represents a potential game changer for carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology options for Ireland.
Dr Glynn has welcomed this bill, particularly the attention paid to define and implement carbon budgets, but noted that there was still room for improvements. Dr Glynn and colleagues recently published research on national and global bases on the role of carbon capture and storage in zero carbon energy systems consistent with the Paris Agreement, and James highlighted key points from this research to support his evidence and his recommendations for improvements.
Dr Glynn also observed that the ambiguity in some of the language of the bill also means that one cannot measure or define whether or not commitments within the bill are being met, and recommended scientifically explicit language to be used within the bill.
Carbon Capture and Storage – a catch-up
How does it work?
Why is it important?
How soon can it be implemented?
Where to now?
We need a full and open discussion about CCS and to develop a strategy for Ireland. There are concerns that a focus on CCS will take our eye off the ball regarding other options (energy efficiency or reduced consumption), so this option needs to be considered as part of a broader behavioural and societal change of attitude regarding our energy usage.
On the same day, the Committee heard from Professor Yvonne Buckley, Professor of Zoology at Trinity College Dublin who emphasised the need to prioritise protection of biodiversity and consideration of nature-based solutions to reducing our nation’s carbon output.
You can read Dr Glynn’s full opening statement to the Committee here.
You can watch the recording of the proceedings here.