Demonstrating safe, globally distributed geological CO2 storage at scale
The sixth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report argues that the only path out demands intensive, immediate efforts to bring net-carbon emissions to zero, combined with unprecedented efforts to extract carbon from the atmosphere. CO2 capture and storage (CCS) will be critical to follow this path but will be a key contributor only if it is deployed at the gigatonne per year (Gt/y) scale. While geological CO2 storage (GCS) in the subsurface has been ongoing for decades at the megatonne per year (Mt/y) scale, accelerating GCS to Gt/y scale faces extraordinary scientific, technological, and regulatory challenges. In our white paper, we address these challenges, which include demonstrating how to choose sites and operations that avoid leakage and induced earthquakes; determining where suitable storage is located globally so that the viability of CCS can be reliably factored into decarbonization decisions; and addressing the problems of public acceptance, regulations/permitting, liability, and environmental justice.