BERLIN (AP) — Germany is working on legislation enabling the use of underground carbon storage, a much-discussed technology that's preferable to releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, a top government official said Thursday.
Speaking to an industry group in Norway, Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, who is also Germany's economy and climate minister, pointed to the prospects of a “new market” for carbon capture and storage, particularly in the lime and cement industry.
The technology has yet to be deployed at scale. Opponents maintain that it is unproven and has been less effective than alternatives such as solar and wind at decarbonizing the energy sector.
Habeck, a member of the environmentalist Green party, said that “we are no longer in a situation (where) we can pick and choose.”
“Putting CO2 under the ground is quite simply better than releasing it into the atmosphere,” he said. "For this reason, Germany is now working on a carbon management strategy in order to create the legislation for the use of such technologies in this year, by mid-2023.”
Data published on Wednesday by a respected environmental think tank indicated that Germany likely missed its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions again last year, despite a big effort by the new government to expand the renewable energy use.
The government has acknowledged that achieving the next big climate milestone — a reduction of emissions by 65% in 2030 compared with 1990 levels — will be a major challenge. Germany, which is home to many energy-intensive industries, aims to cut its emissions to “net zero” by 2045.