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Oil and gas companies discuss carbon capture climate solution

Facing an uncertain future, oil and gas industry giants are expressing the need to take action and respond to the rising challenge of climate change.

Executives from some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies have agreed that the best climate mitigation strategy is a solution known as carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).

In this process, carbon waste is captured at fossil fuel plants and transported to sites where it can be stored underground, preventing harmful emissions from reaching the atmosphere.

According to the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, CCS technology can capture up to 90 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated by fossil fuel use.

Time magazine reports that there was widespread support for CCS at the annual energy conference known as CERAWeek by IHS Market. Those in favor of the climate solution included Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser and International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol.

“The oil projections that we have, they are definitely not in line with the Paris climate goals,” Birol said at the conference. “Unless we make use of one technology which is critical for the use of fossil fuels, which is carbon capture utilization and storage.”

A bill that was passed in the United States last month includes a hefty tax credit for carbon capture and underground storage.

Critics of the technology say that it is too expensive to implement without knowing the real benefits, while some environmentalists believe that carbon capture and storage tax breaks are only promoting more oil and gas production.

Energy industry leaders attending the conference were not all completely sold on the idea of CCS technology either, but the one thing everyone did agree on is that a solution is urgently needed.

“The energy landscape is changing fast. So we must change, where change is what the world needs,” said Shell CEO Ben van Beurden.

“There may not be total unity behind the Paris Agreement any longer, but there is no other issue with the potential to disrupt our industry on such a deep and fundamental level.”

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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