Denmark bets on North Sea carbon capture to hit climate goals

A pilot plant for CO2 capture is seen at Amager Bakke in Copenhagen
A pilot plant for CO2 capture is seen at Amager Bakke in Copenhagen, Denmark June 24, 2021. Ritzau Scanpix/Ida Guldbaek Arentsen via REUTERS

COPENHAGEN, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Denmark will allocate 16 billion Danish crowns ($2.43 billion) towards carbon capture and storage subsidies over the coming decade in a move to reach one of the world's most ambitious climate targets, its government said on Tuesday.

Last year, the Nordic country banned oil and gas exploration in its portion of the North Sea and committed to ending existing production there by 2050. It now aims to inject captured carbon dioxide into the seabed.

"For decades, oil has been pumped up from the North Sea. That should belong to the past. Instead, we must now capture CO2 and even store it in the same subsoil," Climate Minister Dan Jorgensen said in a statement.

Denmark has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, one of the world's most ambitious targets. That means reducing annual CO2 emissions by 20 million tonnes.

The first North Sea carbon capture and storage facilities would be put into service in 2025, delivering 0.4 million tonnes of emissions reductions a year from that date, the ministry said.

The funds would initially go towards capturing and storing carbon from energy and industrial sectors where it is has proved difficult to reduce emissions, such as waste incineration and cement production.

($1 = 6.5805 Danish crowns)

Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Edmund Blair

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