Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas and is released through natural processes such as volcano eruptions and human activities including burning fossil fuels. Human activities have increased the atmospheric concentration of CO2 by over 50 per cent since the start of the industrial revolution.
The increasing concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is driving climate change and increasing the average global temperature and frequency and severity of extreme weather events. The leading sources of CO2 emissions in Wales are industrial and domestic use of fossil fuels for heat and power, agriculture, transport, and international aviation.
In March 2021, the Senedd legislated for a series of emissions targets to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The Welsh Government released its plan to meet net-zero targets following recommendations from the Climate Change Committee (CCC). The main routes to emissions reduction in Wales are:
- resource and energy efficiency;
- substituting fossil fuels with low-carbon fuels;
- increasing the efficiency of buildings; and
- capturing and storing surplus CO2
Our new publication provides a scientific and technological background to carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS). It outlines the role CCUS could play in achieving Welsh emissions targets and the sector-specific opportunities for CCUS in Wales. It also summarises the function of CCUS-enabled power generation in a future low-carbon electricity grid and provides a wider policy context for Wales and the UK.
Read the briefing here: Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) in Wales
Figure 1: The basic principle of the CCS system
Source: Senedd Research from Bellona, CCS
Article by Michael High, Senedd Research, Welsh Parliament