Carbon capture could reduce emissions by 15 million tonnes - report

The energy resources sector is calling for the Government to immediately begin work on an enabling regime for carbon capture technologies or risk missing New Zealand’s net zero emissions targets, says Energy Resources Aotearoa.

"Across the world, countries are embracing carbon capture technologies to reduce their emissions. New Zealand is being left behind by not having a regulatory regime that allows their use in this country," Energy Resources Aotearoa Chief Executive John Carnegie says.

A recently released report from Castalia shows that allowing the use of carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) in New Zealand could save up to 15 million tonnes of emissions by 2035, the equivalent of taking 700,000 cars off the road.

During yesterday’s Downstream energy conference, there was widespread support from New Zealand’s energy industry that we need an enabling regime for CCUS in order to decarbonise the economy.

CCUS projects capture emissions at source and prevent them from escaping into the atmosphere. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that the use of CCUS is "unavoidable" if countries want to meet their net emission reduction targets.

"Carbon capture and storage provides an alternative to planting trees when it comes to balancing the emissions ledger and providing goods and services that are genuinely low or net zero emissions.

"Fuels such as natural gas are entirely compatible with New Zealand’s net zero emissions future when paired with carbon capture technologies.

"The Government needs to take steps that create more options to reduce New Zealand’s emissions. Instead of taking a narrow focus on banning or phasing out particular fuels.

"They can do that by enabling carbon capture projects."

Energy Resources Aotearoa is committed to working closely with the Government to ensure enabling regulations for CCUS projects in New Zealand can become a reality.