Simply put, carbon capture (and utilization) is necessary for the stability of civilization and the long-term survival of humanity. We won’t be able to keep climate change under control without it. Unfortunately, we’re way behind where we should be in halting greenhouse gas emissions and developing the solutions needed to reverse the problem. Right now, we’re relying on technologies that look promising, but still must be developed further and adopted on a massive scale.
“All the blame is on us: we have simply been too slow to reduce emissions, leaving us in a dire situation where we are going to have to depend on technologies that may not be available in time.”
As exciting and inspiring as CCUS technologies are, the truth is that most of them are still in the early stages of development when we need them right now. This is why we must come up with new ways to speed up the normal process of innovation - which usually takes decades for technologies of this scale and impact.
Solar energy, for example, took nearly half a century to go from being used on small spacecraft in the late 50s to now being a competitive and growing source of renewable energy around the world.
If we allow carbon capture to take the same amount of time to reach maturity (as shown in the graphic in the article), it will be too late.
We must ensure that multiple CCUS technologies are deployed (adopted is a better word, as the article points out) simultaneously to keep a diversified portfolio of options at our disposal. We must focus on early deployment and scale-up, finding niche markets that can use CCUS immediately, and educating the public and governments about these solutions. It won’t be easy, but we can make this happen.