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SPE Gaia–OGCI–Ipieca–IOGP Carbon Takeback Obligations - an opportunity to accelerate deployment of carbon capture and storage?

May 2022


In the absence of immediate, rapid, and unprecedented reduction in global demand for carbon intensive energy and products, the capture and permanent storage of billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually will be needed before mid-century to meet Paris Agreement goals.

In the first part of this SPE Gaia–OGCI–Ipieca–IOGP webinar, Professor Myles Allen from the University of Oxford and consultant Margriet Kuiyper propose that a cost-effective transition can occur by mandating an increasing stored fraction of carbon through a progressive Carbon Takeback Obligation (CTBO) placed on fossil carbon producers and importers. Compared to a global carbon price, an upstream CTBO has potential advantages of simple governance, speed, and controllability; equivalent carbon prices under a CTBO are reliably capped by the cost of direct air capture and storage, and by ensuring deployment keeps pace with continued fossil fuel use.  When combined with other measures to reduce CO2 emissions in the near-term, a CTBO could deliver a viable pathway to achieving net-zero emissions consistent with 1.5°C by mid-century.

In the second part, Martin Towns of bp and Arthur Lee of Chevron introduce a recent paper from the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative on the CTBO concept in relation to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, looking at how these obligations could create tangible and predictable demand for carbon storage units and unlock a flow of funds to build storage capacity.

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