The carbon dioxide removal potential in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area

According to CE Delft, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and the North Sea Canal Area will not meet CO2 savings targets without carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere.

A new report maps and assesses the potential of carbon dioxide removal (CDR), as well as biogenic emission sources and storage opportunities in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and the North Sea Canal Area. CDR technologies can be deployed at the urban scale, potentially capturing emissions from industrial processes and municipal services.

CDR is the physical, permanent, and net carbon dioxide removal (CO₂) from the atmosphere. CDR is an integral part of a net-zero transition. While CDR cannot replace emission reductions, it fulfills three crucial roles: reducing CO₂ emissions levels in the short-term, neutralizing residual emissions from hard-to-abate sectors to reach net zero CO₂ in the medium term, and achieving net negative CO₂ emissions in the long-term.

Each CDR solution presents its own benefits and limitations. For example, storage of CO₂ in geologic sinks (e.g., depleted oil and gas reservoirs, saline aquifers) requires investment in infrastructure and careful surveying and injection but has a large capacity, is easily monitored, and has a low risk of re-emission.

Storage of CO₂ in biologic sinks (e.g., soils, biomass) is easier to implement and may have co-benefits (e.g., increased climate resilience of cities and agriculture), but has a higher risk of reversal (e.g., due to forest fires, disease, erosion), can be more difficult to effectively monitor, and the rate of carbon removal and the potential positive and negative coeffects are dependent on the exact environment and practices.

Biomass with carbon capture and storage (bioCCS) is the storage of CO₂ from biogenic sources, constituting a CDR process. BioCCS comprises three necessary steps, from carbon source to carbon sink, namely the capture of biogenic CO₂ (e.g., from industrial processes), transport (e.g., via pipeline, truck, rail, or ship), and permanent storage (e.g., in geological storage) of CO₂.

According to the report, the region should contribute to driving the acceleration toward the deployment of CDR, thereby catalyzing private sector action rather than the opposite. As essential to reach climate goals, CDR must be considered a public good rather than a purely commercial or industrial undertaking. In the same way that local governments provide waste management services (e.g., for sewage and water), providing or promoting CO₂ management services could be considered an essential public service.

The municipality and region should take a central role in convening stakeholders and resources, e.g., to facilitate the creation of CDR and CCS innovation hubs.

Source: Quick Scan

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Walther Ploos van Amstel  

Passie in logistiek & supply chain management