Net Zero and beyond: creating a carbon storage market

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Since the early 1700’s, industrial societies have continually borrowed fossil carbon from the earth and funded a lavish lifestyle by overspending on their carbon credit card. Lack of repayment now results in penalties ranging from forest fires, hurricanes, absent arctic ice, and unhealthy oceans. Multiple types of action are needed to reduce embedded over-borrowing of carbon: energy efficient consumption, energy switching to minimum carbon, capture of carbon emissions from industry and heat, and payment of carbon debt by recapture of already emitted carbon. Global actions have focused entirely on making carbon (a little) more expensive and on weak rules to reduce emissions. But no action has been taken to enforce (re)capture and storage of carbon. It is not possible to balance residual carbon emissions without storage. I will explain the basics of Carbon capture and storage, its applications to climate change mitigation, why nature based solutions are good, but insufficient, compared to a portfolio of Negative Emissions Technologies. But, following 25 years of failure and avoiding the problem, corporations with global leadership are now seeking engineered and technology solutions. European oil companies are choosing between change or extinction. And the UK has started on an unprecedented journey to build a carbon capture and storage network in each industrial region. However none of this is enough to succeed, unless a compulsory new market in carbon storage can ensure that one tonne of carbon extracted is balanced by one tonne of carbon recaptured and stored.