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CCS to boost China-UK ties, MPs say

Energy report highlights UK must do more in carbon capture and storage to reach China’s promising GBP 430bn low carbon market

Developments in CCS is one area of renewables that is set to strengthen ties between the UK and China

A UK cross-party committee of MPs has urged the government to boost carbon, capture and storage (CCS) technology development in order to improve its low carbon trade strategy towards China, it emerged on Wednesday. The move follows strong recommendations from MPs for the UK to help green businesses and technologies prosper, a stance which should be “at the heart of government plans to tackle climate change,” they said in a report.

The development of carbon, capture and storage (CCS) technology and expertise is an environmental and commercial imperative to boost UK-China ties in the low carbon market, the UK Energy and Climate Change Committee’s latest report points out.

“The successful development and deployment of CCS at scale in China is important if China is to accelerate its emissions reductions,” the report read.

In effect, the move could prove key as China moves towards a decarbonised economy. The country’s electricity generation capacity is currently 930 billion watts (GW), with around 70 per cent of this capacity fuelled by coal-fired power. It is estimated that China will double generation capacity by 2020, almost half of that through additional high-carbon capacity, which according to the report underlines the need for CCS development.

The report advises Downing Street to “do more” to accompany China’s growing low carbon market, currently estimated at a value of GBP 430bn (approximately USD 679.8bn).

Tim Yeo MP, chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, said: “British firms could benefit enormously as China invests in carbon, capture and storage [CCS] and wind, wave and tidal power, but the government needs to do more to help them gain access to these huge potential markets.

“The UK is well-placed to help China develop the legal infrastructure for carbon trading and establish effective systems for emissions accounting as it drafts new climate law,” Yeo added.