chapter  5
17 Pages

COLONIZING THE FUTURE: The case of CCS

ByAnders Hansson

In the CCS debate, a common claim is that humankind stands at a historic fork in the road: the two options are either to continue releasing CO2 into the atmosphere or to bury it in the crust of the earth. Posing the choice in this way marginalizes other mitigation options. Arguments for the necessity of CCS are often expressed with strong conviction and claims of consensus in political documents, research reports and the mass media; the expectations of the technology are obviously high. Statements claiming that coal power and CCS are compatible with sustainable development, while still contested, are no longer unusual. What was formerly deemed a problem, the combustion of coal, has recently been framed as a possible solution that enables even more stringent stabilization targets if included in the mitigation portfolio. However, as no CCS demonstration coal plants exist yet, CCS development still entails signifi cant scientifi c, technical and economic uncertainty (Hansson 2008).