New legal drivers for carbon capture and storage

Carbon capture and storage technology (CCS) will not be mandatory for fossil fuel power plants in the EU but will be promoted by treating stored emissions as though they were "not emitted" in the European carbon trading scheme (ETS). CCS plant operators will therefore avoid the cost of buying carbon allowances.

MEPs this week formally approved a legal framework to stimulate and regulate the uptake of CCS (EE 17/12/08). It closely follows proposals tabled by the European commission in January (EE 23/01/08). The most controversial issue had been the funding of a series of planned demonstration plants. Policymakers decided to support them with the revenue of 300m ETS allowances put aside for the purpose.

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