UNFCCC COP18 concluded earlier this month, with few substantive achievements from the perspective of climate engineering. The conference succeeded in securing a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol (though with fewer participants and mediocre ambition levels), thereby extending the CDM and JI through 2020. And a formal loss and damage work program was established, which may have implications for any eventual geoengineering liability governance mechanisms. But nothing significant with respect to CCS or A/R (in the context of REDD) was accomplished at the meeting in Doha.
CCS did make some news at a side event hosted by the Global CCS Institute, however. At this event, the recently formed ENGO Network on CCS (see New NGO CCS Network, 2/2) unveiled a new report calling for a redoubled commitment to CCS. These groups, including such prominent organizations as EDF and NRDC, proclaimed that CCS is safe, and zeroed in on the principal barrier to wider deployment: "The single biggest barrier standing in the way of CCS deployment is the absence of comprehensive climate policies that place a significant market value on avoided emissions" (p. 6). The report also singles out BECCS as particularly promising: "the combination of CCS and biomass that is acquired without causing permanent deforestation or otherwise compromising its lifecycle emissions footprint can open up an emissions reduction pathway that 'scrubs' carbon dioxide from the atmosphere" (p. 3). No doubt the ENGO Network is anxiously awaiting final CCS funding decisions under the EU NER300 program (see Update on NER300, 8/10) and UK Commercialization Program (see Short List Announced in UK CCS Funding Competition, 11/1).