In a press release on Tuesday 6 February, the European Council and Parliament announced their agreement on a provisional deal to establish a regulatory framework of measures for strengthening Europe’s net-zero technology products manufacturing ecosystem. This is better known as the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA), which was first proposed by the Commission less than a year ago with the aim of boosting the deployment of net-zero technologies needed to achieve the EU’s climate goals. Under the agreement, there will be a single list of net-zero technologies with criteria for selecting strategic projects in those technologies that will contribute better to decarbonisation. The NZIA agreement sets a specific target for carbon capture and storage, with an annual injection capacity of at least 50 million tonnes to be achieved by 2030.
The provisional agreement now needs to be endorsed and formally adopted by both the Council and the Parliament. NZIA is one of the three key legislative initiatives of the Green Deal Industrial Plan to enhance the competitiveness of Europe's net-zero industry and support a rapid transition to climate neutrality. The Commission tabled its proposal on 16 March 2023. The European Parliament adopted its position on 21 November 2023 and the Council its general approach on 7 December 2023.
EU Commission propose a 2040 target for CO2 storage
In a further press release on Tuesday 6 February, the European Commission announced that they have adopted an Industrial Carbon Management Communication, which provides details on how technologies including carbon capture and storage can contribute to reducing EU emissions by 90% by 2040 and reaching climate neutrality by 2050. Based on the impact assessment on the EU recommended climate target for 2040, the European Union will need to capture around 280 million tonnes per year of CO2 by 2040 of which 190 million tonnes will be geologically stored, based on an average of the S2 and S3 scenarios outlined in the Communication. The announcement builds on the agreed NZIA 2030 target to develop at least 50 million tonnes per year of CO2 storage capacity by 2030.
Prof Stuart Haszeldine, SCCS, said "this is a welcome announcement which we calculate to be based on the scientific targets necessary for a pathway to climate neutrality by mid-century. This has the potential to re-establish Europe as a global leader on emissions reduction and puts the ball back in the court of the USA, Saudi Arabia, and China to go further and faster to reach net zero."