Former vice president-turned-environmental activist Al Gore railed against carbon capture technology while at the United Nations climate conference in Poland.
When asked by an Axios reporter Wednesday if attention should be paid toward getting the world off fossil fuels or reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Gore responded with a sharp tone: “What does that mean? Not getting off fossil fuels but reducing emissions? You’re not buying the CCS nonsense are you? Are you?”
CCS is the commonly used acronym for carbon capture, which stands for “carbon, capture and storage.” The practice involves capturing carbon emissions from fossil fuel sites and storing it away. The stored carbon is typically put underground. A large number of scientists and experts believe CCS has the potential to decarbonize the world’s fossil fuel industry. The United Nations has also deemed it essential in efforts to curb global warming.
Gore, however, is clearly not impressed with the technology.
“If you see a separation between getting off fossil fuels as one thing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions as another, then the only way to reconcile those two positions is to believe in the tooth fairy,” he continued in his interview exchange Wednesday.
Instead of embracing carbon capture technology, Gore wants to see electric utilities transition to renewable energy, such as wind and solar.
Gore’s comments were made despite the fact that CCS is beginning to catch on. There are currently 18 large-scale CO2 trapping facilities in operation around the globe, with another five in construction and 20 in different stages of development, according to a 2018 report from the Global CCS Institute. However, critics have long pointed to the exorbitant cost of operating such technology, rendering it difficult to implement on a large scale.
The Trump administration proposed on Dec. 6 to rescind an Obama-era rule that required new coal plants to use carbon capture. The decision was welcomed by the coal leaders, who long said the Obama rule made building new coal facilities unaffordable. (RELATED: Study: Climate Change Laws In New York And California Are Hurting Poor People The Most)
Gore was participating in the United Nations’s climate conference being held in Katowice, Poland. The international meeting has attracted delegates from around the world to discuss ways to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions.
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