MEPs gave a breath of fresh air to Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) today as they voted in favour of developing and applying the technology in Europe.
SNP MEP Alyn Smith said:
"This recommitment to CCS from the EU is hugely important for Scotland. With massive storage opportunities under the North Sea and much of the infrastructure already in place as well as political support and academic expertise in spades, we're in an ideal position to both deliver and benefit from this technology.
"The North Sea is Europe's leading CO2 storage asset. The potential of this technology is massive and its development is essential if we want to achieve our climate targets. It's important to be clear that development of CCS is in no way an excuse for countries to shy away from meeting their renewables targets - the development of the two technologies must go hand in hand.
"According to the International Energy Agency, fossil fuels will still make up 75% of the global energy mix in 2030. We need to develop widespread commercially applicable CCS now to account for all those extra carbon emissions. Development of CCS reflects reality of the near future for energy development and Scotland should be leading the way.
"Carbon Capture and Storage is a critical new technology but it's no secret that, despite our best efforts, past attempts to support it haven't actually achieved much and progress has been slow. This report not only recognises that but puts CCS right at the heart of the EU's climate policy for 2030.
"The Commission must now match our ambition on CCS. We'll have to wait and see what they come up with in the 2030 climate proposals next week but I'm hopeful that the vote today marks a turning point for CCS and that its role in our future energy mix will be recognised."