Carbon capture benefits made clear for Yorkshire & Humber

Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) would add as much as £245m to the regional economy of Yorkshire, Humber and the Tees Valley, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The TUC and Carbon Capture Storage Association (CCSA) argued the benefits of developing the technology at a regional CCS event in Leeds on Friday (4 July). The joint announcement stated that developing CCS could create 6,000 jobs across Yorkshire and more than 1,000 jobs in the Tees Valley while securing up to 30,000 manufacturing jobs in the region.

Speaking at the event in Leeds, TUC assistant general secretary Paul Nowak said: “CCS technology can reduce our carbon emissions, bring down energy bills and create thousands of high quality, skilled jobs across Yorkshire, the Humber and the Tees Valley.

“This is exactly the kind of technology needed to rebalance our economy and generate strong and sustainable growth outside London and the South East.

“Despite the clear benefits of CCS technology, it has yet to be fully embraced by the Government. It’s important that unions, industry and local business champions work together to persuade ministers to get these CCS projects off the ground and helping industry before it’s too late.”

The regions highlighted have a high concentration of coal and gas-fired power stations as well as energy-intensive industries and businesses such as the Tata steel works in Scunthorpe. The proximity to significant CO2 storage capacity under the North Sea would also make the area extremely suitable for the carbon capture technology, the TUC says.

This follows a report published by the TUC and CCSA in November 2013 which concluded that rolling out CCS technology for UK power stations is crucial for helping the UK to meet its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. The report argued that CCS would lead to a long term regional economic impact which could exceed £26bn by 2050 in Yorkshire and Humber.

In May the Energy and Climate Change Committee also called for the introduction of CCS technology. The committee’s report found that CCS was ‘vital’ to the UK’s low-carbon ambitions and that investment on two pilot projects needed to be finalised before the next general election.

CCSA chief executive Dr Luke Warren emphasised the importance of political action. He said: “It is now vital that the government puts in place an enduring policy to bring forward additional power and industrial CCS projects in these regions and across the UK, if we are to maximise the opportunity to create an industry that could deliver potentially tens of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of pounds by 2030.”

Matt Field

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