Enhancing Climate Strategy with CCUS

Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) has become a pivotal technology in efforts to reduce emissions. CCUS presents a promising path to mitigate global warming by capturing greenhouse gasses (GHG), measured by carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), emissions from fugitive sources like power plants or industrial processes, and either utilizing or securely storing the CO2. This article investigates the advantages and challenges of climate change mitigation with CCUS.

Understanding CCUS

CCUS encompasses:

· Carbon Capture: Trapping CO2 emissions before their release into the atmosphere or accumulating the same directly from the atmosphere.
· Utilization: Converting CO2 into useful products, such as chemicals or building materials or otherwise replacing a GHG source.
· Storage: Sequestering CO2 into a GHG sink or reservoir, typically in geological formations underground to prevent its atmospheric release.

Advantages of CCUS

Incorporating CCUS into our collective climate strategy offers numerous benefits:

· Significant Emissions Reduction: CCUS has the potential to capture a large volume of CO2, thereby directly offering significant GHG removal enhancement.
· Economic Benefits through Utilization: The conversion of captured CO2 into valuable products can foster a circular carbon economy and lessen the use of new GHG sources.
· Support for Energy Security: CCUS enables cleaner use of fossil fuels, offering a transition pathway toward sustainable energy.

Disadvantages and Challenges

However, CCUS also faces several hurdles:

· Cost and Energy Requirements: High costs and significant energy consumption for CO2 capture and storage are major challenges.
· Storage Risks and Site Availability: Concerns over leakage and the uneven global distribution of suitable storage sites pose limitations.
· High Storage Needs: The International Energy Agency (IEA) notes that achieving net-zero emissions will necessitate the storage of more than 5000 Megaton per year (Mt/year) of CO2 by 2070, up from around 40 Mt/year per year today.

The Global Potential of CCUS

The availability of storage capacity is one aspect of CCUS’s practicality. The IEA’s high-level geological analysis suggests a vast global storage capacity, estimated between 8,000 Gigaton (Gt) and 55,000 Gt of CO2, far exceeding the 220 Gt of CO2 projected to be stored under the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario from 2020 to 2070. This indicates a substantial buffer for the global deployment of CCUS technologies, with significant capacities in regions such as Asia, North America, and Africa. Furthermore, approximately 70% of power and industrial emissions in key regions are within 100 km of potential storage, highlighting the proximity advantage for cost-effective CCUS implementation.

Economic and Policy Landscape

According to McKinsey, the landscape for CCUS is poised for a shift, with annual investments projected to reach $120 billion to $150 billion beyond 2035. Subsidies, regulatory interventions, and market willingness to pay for lower carbon-intensity products are expected to drive the industry forward. Notably, the 45Q tax credit in the United States and the European Union Emissions Trading System (ETS) exemplify policy measures encouraging CCUS investment.


It is essential to utilize the expertise of leaders in the field to navigate the challenges of implementing CCUS for climate change mitigation. Clear Rating is a vital resource for insights into the viability and effectiveness of CCUS projects. With our extensive experience and deep understanding of what factors are crucial in assessing the potentials and risks associated with CCUS, Clear Rating offers invaluable guidance. We emphasize the importance of evaluating technological feasibility, economic viability, regulatory compliance, and environmental impact to ensure that CCUS contributes meaningfully to achieving net-zero emissions. By drawing on the expertise of Clear Rating, stakeholders can navigate the CCUS landscape with a more informed and nuanced approach, ensuring that investments are not only strategically sound but also aligned with broader climate goals. The collaboration between technology experts, policymakers, and expert evaluators like Clear Rating is pivotal in unlocking the full potential of CCUS as a cornerstone in the fight against climate change.