Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions

A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.

“Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment into the energy sector. As part of our plan to double renewable electricity, and transition to a low emission economy, we are enabling innovative technology that reduces net CO2 emissions,” Mr Brown says.

Implementation of CCUS is estimated to reduce New Zealand’s net CO2 emissions by 4.65 megatonnes over the next two Emission Reduction Plan periods (2026-30 and 2031-35).

“CCUS is an important way to reduce net CO2 emissions from hard-to-abate industries that are keeping the lights on and powering our economy, such as natural gas production.  Capturing CO2 emissions enables these critical industries to provide a least cost transition to a low emissions economy that strengthens our energy security and reduces net emissions and will align our policies with many other jurisdictions who recognise CCUS as part of their net zero framework.

“Enabling CCUS will attract investment in utilising captured CO2 emissions that would not otherwise benefit New Zealanders to create valuable products and materials. It does this while emissions remain capped under the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), our Government’s key tool to reducing emissions.

“While capturing and utilising CO2 emissions, the framework we have released today will protect New Zealanders and our environment with a monitoring regime to ensure that carbon that is captured is effectively and safely stored, a critical component of any CCUS framework.”

Gas production levels in New Zealand are at a 40-year low following the previous government’s decision to ban new offshore oil and gas exploration.

“Natural gas production is critical as we transition towards renewable energy. Our proposed CCUS framework, amongst other innovations, will enable an increasingly sustainable transition to a low emissions economy by allowing for carbon from natural gas to be captured.”

The Government’s draft CCUS framework has been released for consultation today and can be found here: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say