Ecocem founder denounces narrow CCUS focus of UK government

Ecocem founder denounces narrow CCUS focus of UK government
16 March 2023

Following the UK government’s announcement in its budget to invest GBP20bn (US$24.1bn/EUR22.8bn) in carbon capture technology, Donal O'Riain, Ecocem’s founder and director, voices his concern at the narrow focus of the government’s decarbonisation strategy.

Mr O’Riain comments: “All investment in reducing global carbon emissions is welcome, but today’s announcement by the UK Government that it will invest GBP20bn in carbon capture technology is another example of how focussing exclusively on carbon capture is at the expense of broader, less costly, and more readily available innovation. 

“While Carbon Capture technology will have a role to play to decarbonise cement when it is ready, new technologies already exist that can halve emissions from cement by 2030, at very little extra cost compared to traditional cement products. It is currently predicted that Carbon Capture technology won’t be operational until at least 2035 and then only at huge expense and requiring massive infrastructure changes," adds Mr O’Riain.

He argues that the technology is unlikely to be able to make a meaningful impact on reducing emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 as per the Paris Agreement due to the technology being years away from providing scalable solutions to cement’s carbon problem. Instead, he and Ecocem argue that greater investment in low cement technologies that have already been developed and can be rolled out at scale before 2030, is vital so that emissions can be substantially reduced until CCUS becomes a scalable, viable option.

In summary, Mr O’Riain stresses: “By focussing investment solely on Carbon Capture technology, the Government is slowing down critical industry innovation. It would do well to think shorter term and move to reduce emissions now – not in 10 years when CCS may finally be deployable.”

Published under Cement News