Examining Greenwashing: The Dark, Murky, and Bright Sides of Earth Day
April 21, 2023
Illustration by Melissa Stafford of DG+Design
Earth Day is largely regarded as a good thing – a deserved celebration of the planet we call home. What’s not to love? Earth is rad! We absolutely should join hands and rejoice that this particular orbiting rock offers the key ingredients for life as we know it. But like many of the best things – love, justice, freedom – our precious planet has fallen victim to bad actors seeking to profit from the tactful plucking of our warm, fuzzy heartstrings. I’m talking about greenwashing.
Greenwashing refers to the practice of using misleading environmental claims for marketing purposes.
Earth Day – founded in 1970 (pre-Environmental Protection Act) with the indisputably wholesome goal of promoting environmental awareness and protection – today serves a slightly different yet equally important role: BS barometer.
I argue that Earth Day 2023 is about more than planting trees and turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth. Earth Day 2023 is about exposing the pitfalls of corporate greenwashing, empowering conscious consumers, celebrating real progress, and marketing ethically.
Here I explore the dark, murky, and bright sides of Earth Day. I also offer some tips both for purpose-driven consumers and for fellow marketers because the truth is that Earth Day can be tricky for everyone. By learning from the errors of years past, we can all set ourselves up for success in the future. That includes both marketers and consumers, alike.
The dark side of Earth Day
The company with the loudest voice often has the least to say.
Let’s start with a truly egregious example of greenwashing to get your blood boiling. Let’s talk about ExxonMobil and its insufferable Earth Day 2021 campaign.
I assume most of us are familiar with ExxonMobil but the lunacy (and irony) of its greenwashing just doesn’t hit as hard without some background:
Heavy-handed greenwashing like this is pretty easy to spot. But less obvious examples are everywhere and they make it difficult for conscious consumers to distinguish between true environmentalism and Grade-A Bologna.
The murky side of Earth Day
Deciphering deception and maintaining morale.
Recently, a client of mine – who previously worked in communications at the Sierra Club – referred to Earth Day as the “SantaCon of sustainability”. Never have I heard a more accurate description of Earth Day. (Background on SantaCon for the uninitiated here.)
When I worked as the Marketing Director for a non-profit coalition dedicated to eliminating single-use plastic, part of my role entailed managing business partnerships. Most of the year this followed a steady cadence of co-branded plastic-free product launches and the like, but come each April everything would change.
Suddenly, my inbox was overwhelmed with messages from frantic marketers all scrambling for the same thing: an environmental non-profit willing to collaborate on an Earth Day campaign.
Once I moved past being annoyed that none of these bozos had the forethought to reach out prior to April, I felt kind of bad for these desperate marketers tasked with the impossible: rebranding face goop and boogie boards as “sustainable”. (My sympathy for these folks was short-lived and I was dishing out hard passes in no time.)
It is worth mentioning that I was shooting these turkeys down not for sport but because our organization was not in the business of greenwashing and my job was not to help tchotchke manufacturers peddle their wares.
It also bears noting that sifting through the deluge of Earth Day collab requests wasn’t as simple as blindly pasting canned rejection emails to every marketer who reached out to me in April. I did my research on every business that reached out, and let me tell you, that type of investigative endeavor quickly becomes a rabbit hole for this naturally inquisitive, endlessly skeptical daughter of an attorney. My research was equal parts time-consuming and eye-opening. I was dumbfounded to see the range of greenwashing out there; while some seemed born of Lord Voldemort himself, many were more difficult to discern.
Some touted a lone plastic-free product in a line of 30 products packaged in single-use plastic – was this progress or pandering? Others claimed “100% renewable energy” when they had simply purchased RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) – was this a stepping stone on the path to behavior change or was this their ultimate “solution”? Despite my relentless digging, I couldn’t answer these questions myself.
Distinguishing real progress from false or unsubstantiated sustainability claims can be really tough, even when you are paid to do it. And when you aren’t – when you are just a human being who simply wants to make mindful purchasing decisions – it can feel really overwhelming.
But taking a step further to learn more can be worthwhile, especially because there are actually a lot of awesome businesses out there that are doing right by planet Earth. Furthermore, the fact that eco-minded consumers exist in the first place – and are becoming more discerning – pushes businesses of all kinds to actually do better.
The bright side of Earth Day
You care about the environment, and big business is on to you (that’s a really good thing).
Why is it so hard to wade through the Earth Day noise? Because conscious consumers have been on the rise in recent years and now this sexy market segment has the attention of everyone with an eye on their bottom line. The general trend towards giving a damn has forced businesses large and small to consider how environmentally friendly their offerings are, or at least how environmentally friendly they can make them seem.
"79% of consumers are changing their behavior based on social responsibility, inclusiveness, and environmental impact." (Capgemini)
And while some businesses do opt for the easy button – a “green” marketing campaign paired with no actual changes to their business model (I’m looking at you, Exxon) – others are taking the challenge to do better very seriously. These companies are taking meaningful steps like installing rooftop solar, electrifying their vehicle fleets, improving their supply chain, and even giving back to communities through programs like 1% for the Planet. These actions are a huge deal and we should celebrate them.
The truth is profit and planet have been diametrically opposed since the advent of capitalism, and historically profit has reigned supreme. That we are now witnessing a shift in favor of the planet is monumental.
So, my advice to the purpose-driven consumers reading this is: keep it up, because what you’re doing is working. And tomorrow, when you are inundated with Earth Day messages from the likes of ExxonMobil, be sure that your BS barometer is operating at full capacity and take pleasure in the fact that their marketing budgets are being wasted on deaf ears.
And once the “green” tidal wave ebbs, keep an ear out for the more subdued whispers of truly earth-focused companies saying, “Alright, posers. Shout to your heart’s content today. We protect the planet year-round and we don’t need to strain ourselves on Earth Day to prove it.”
That to me is really the big takeaway of the bright side of Earth Day. The companies doing the most are actually talking about progress and impact year round. They have less need or desire to join the noise on a particular day during the year because they know their impact is real and it shows over time.
Earth Day marketing best practices
How to not lose your job, your customers’ trust, or your dignity.
Okay, so now I’m putting my marketer hat back on to share some ideas for how fellow marketers can show up for this increasingly complex day in an authentic and productive way.
Plan ahead. Build out your campaign strategy several months in advance to avoid getting caught up in the SantaCon madness. By identifying potential collaborators, media outlets, etc. early on you can, (a) reduce the chance of your outreach email winding up in the trash folder of an exasperated potential partner, and (b) test the waters and maybe even get some helpful feedback that saves you from a humiliating Earth Day flop.
Tell the truth. This is different from the one above because lies are infinite and there is only one truth. Telling the truth can be scary, especially if it isn’t ultra-flattering. But modern consumers are a savvy lot and they understand that progress can be more important than perfection. Today's buyers also value transparency, so rather than cooking up a partial truth, tell the story of where your company is today on the journey to true sustainability.
Opt out. Believe it or not, opting out of Earth Day is an option. In recent years, I’ve seen a lot of my favorite sustainability-minded brands and organizations forgo Earth Day. I think this is partially in protest of aggressive corporate co-opting and partially because sustainability is actually baked into their work every single day. It turns out that if you fight for the planet all year you don’t need to lose your voice shouting about it on a random day in April.
In the words of Hunter S. Thompson, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” Planet Earth is absolutely worth protecting, so let’s all do our best to do it right.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for joining me on this journey. As a reward, here are a couple of fun clips on greenwashing that will hopefully bring a smile to your face:
Today, 65% of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) capacity is used to capture emissions from natural gas processing.
By 2030, hydrogen production, power generation, and heat will be the largest sectoral applications for CCUS.
CCUS is set to grow globally, with North America and Europe poised for particularly rapid growth over the next decade.
The vast majority of the captured carbon will be stored in permanent storage infrastructure by 2030, outpacing carbon use in enhanced oil recovery.
Expected CCUS capacity growth is still not sufficient to meet the IEA’s Net-Zero Emissions Scenario for 2050. Policymakers must enact measures from a wide range of policy and regulatory options available to them to further accelerate CCUS growth.
Driven by ambitious government emissions-reduction targets, a wide range of decarbonization strategies are underway all around the world, from renewable energy production to transportation electrification. Recently, however, a very different decarbonization approach has started to gain traction: carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). Instead of replacing a polluting product or process with one that does not produce emissions, CCUS technologies remove carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from power plants and industrial processes, as well as directly from the atmosphere. The captured carbon can be stored (usually injected deep underground) or used for a wide range of applications, including the manufacturing of construction material, fertilizers, and bioplastics.
Despite its growing popularity, CCUS can be a controversial approach to climate change mitigation. Some opponents argue that developing CCUS technologies gives big emitters like fossil fuel companies a convenient excuse to keep extracting fossil fuels. Some observers also argue that relying too heavily on CCUS, rather than accelerating the use of emissions mitigation technologies, will not help the world meet crucial climate targets.
Despite such skepticism about CCUS, a growing number of governments and firms are deploying CCUS as part of their decarbonization strategies. This is because while the rapid deployment of renewable energy remains the primary strategy for global carbon emission mitigation, even in the most generous of projections, renewables alone will not be enough to meet key climate targets. This is why authoritative projections like those by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency (IEA) also include the use of CCUS technologies.
In this article, we investigate the current state and future projections of the global CCUS landscape: What sectors are employing it, and how is the captured carbon used? How do we expect CCUS deployment to grow in the future? What policies and incentives are necessary for CCUS to reach its potential as a key pillar of a decarbonized society?
To answer these questions, we analyzed the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) CCUS Projects Database. This database covers all CO2 capture, transport, storage, and utilization projects worldwide that have been commissioned since the 1970s and have an announced capacity of more than 100,000 tons per year (or 1,000 tons per year for direct air capture facilities).
Today’s Global CCUS Market
Natural Gas Processing Dominates Global CCUS Applications Today
For the sake of this analysis, “sectoral application” refers to the industry in which CCUS is deployed to capture the emitted carbon before it is stored or transported for use. Broadly speaking, there are eight sectoral applications for CCUS technologies today:
Natural gas processing: CCUS is used to capture carbon emissions from purifying raw natural gas to produce pipeline quality natural gas.
Hydrogen and ammonia production: Hydrogen is a molecule that does not emit carbon when combusted, and has the potential as a clean fuel for the industrial, transport, and power sectors. Ammonia can also be used as a zero-carbon fuel for power generation and a carrier for hydrogen. Yet most hydrogen and ammonia production today uses fossil fuels. CCUS offers a potential solution, as capturing the carbon emitted from hydrogen and ammonia production is a cheaper strategy than using renewable energy to produce these fuels in most regions.
Biofuels: Facilities that produce biofuels like bioethanol, biodiesel, and biogas are also responsible for CO2 emissions, and carbon capture technologies can be used to remove these emissions.
Other fuel transformation: Carbon capture technology is used to sequester emissions from facilities that produce and refine fuels other than natural gas, hydrogen, ammonia and biofuels.
Iron and steel plants: Some industrial processes, notably iron and steel manufacturing, are highly energy intensive and cannot easily be decarbonized. CCUS is one of the most promising emissions reduction methods for these facilities.
Other industry: CCUS is applied to industrial facilities other than iron and steel, such as aluminum smelters, pulp and paper mills, etc.
Power and heat generation: Power and heat generation account for about 30% of primary greenhouse gas emissions globally. Owners of fossil fuel power plants use CCUS to cut those emissions when power and heat are generated.
Directly from the air: Through direct air capture (DAC), CO2 can be removed directly from the atmosphere.
Hover over graph to interact
As the chart above shows, natural gas processing is the dominant of these eight CCUS applications; today, 65% of all CCUS capacity is in the natural gas processing sector. Natural gas processing plants in North America were the earliest adopters of CCUS in the 1970s and 1980s because of the relatively low cost of capturing carbon from these processes and the ability to supply it to local oil producers for oil recovery operations.
Over the last two decades, carbon capture capacity in natural gas processing has increased by 265%, from 8.5 megatons (Mt) of CO2 per year in 2000 to over 31 Mt CO2 per year in 2022. This growth follows the steady increase in natural gas production globally.
Other applications pale in comparison. 7.3 Mt CO2 per year is captured from other fuel transformation processes, 3.5 Mt CO2 from industrial plants other than iron and steel, and 1.6 Mt CO2 from the production of biofuels. The sectors where carbon capture technology will be essential in decarbonization efforts – power generation and heat, as well as iron and steel manufacturing – are still lagging behind at 1.3 and 0.9 Mt CO2 per year, respectively. At 0.004 Mt CO2 per year, DAC capacity is also still in its infancy.
CCUS deployment in sectors other than natural gas processing face a common barrier: the lack of commercial value in capturing CO2. This, combined with the extremely high cost of developing a CCUS project in the absence of substantial and consistent policy support, has made CCUS deployment in industrial applications commercially unattractive. DAC projects are especially costly because the technology is still in its infancy, so there are relatively few companies that develop them.
Policy Support is Scaling CCUS
To address these common barriers, governments have been proactive in passing and implementing measures to encourage the growth of CCUS projects over the past few years. Here, we highlight several of these policy initiatives in North America and Europe.
In the US, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 offers a considerable boost for CCUS through a tax credit. This tax credit nearly doubles for carbon that is captured from power and industrial plants, and more than triples for CO2 captured from DAC: $60/tonne for utilization from industrial and power sectors, $85/tonne for storing CO2 captured from industrial and power generation facilities in saline geologic formations, $130/tonne for utilization from DAC, and $180/tonne for storage in saline geologic formations from DAC.
This support is coupled with funding under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which provides approximately $12 billion across the CCUS value chain in the form of R&D funding, loans, and permitting support over the next 5 years. These funding measures by the US government are the most ambitious of any country.
In Canada, the 2022 federal budget included an investment tax credit for CCUS projects that permanently store captured CO2 between 2022 and 2030, valued between 37.5 - 60% of the project cost depending on the type of project. 34 CCUS projects were announced in 2022 and 2023, which will help increase Canada’s CCUS capacity by almost 27 Mt CO2 per year by 2030.
In the European Union, funding programs and regulatory reforms will fuel much of this projected growth, particularly the Connecting Europe Facility - Energy ($6.3 billion between 2021 and 2027) and the Innovation Fund ($41.2 billion between 2020 and 2030) that fund CCUS and other clean energy projects.
Global Oil and Gas Players Lead the Market
While government policies are pivotal for expanding global CCUS capacity, it is companies that ultimately plan, develop, and operate these projects. This section identifies the major players listed in the IEA CCUS Database and highlights the efforts of some of these companies.
The table below shows the ten companies involved in the largest CO2 capture capacities and the core sector in which each company operates.
Announced Avg. Capacity (Mt CO2/yr)
Oil and gas
Oil and gas
Oil and gas
Oil and gas
Oil and gas
Oil and gas
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Open Grid Europe (OGE)
Oil and gas
Oil and gas
Several patterns can be observed. First is the predominance of oil and gas companies in the CCUS industry. Oil majors including ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, and Equinor are also some of the largest players developing CO2 capture infrastructure. With the recent announcement by ExxonMobil to acquire Denbury to expand its CCUS and enhanced oil recovery (more on this below) capacity, the oil majors in this list are set to consolidate even further. Although not included in the top 10, other US oil companies such as Valero and Chevron are also leading players in this field.
Also notable is the absence of companies that specialize in carbon capture in the top 10. Recently, several firms have garnered attention for their proprietary CCUS technologies, such as CarbFix, CarbonFree, Aker Carbon Capture, and LanzaTech. Yet compared to the multinational energy and manufacturing companies that occupy the top spots in the industry, these pure plays are still small, with total CCUS project capacities of less than 5 Mt CO2 per year each. However, the entry of these specialized companies into the CCUS value chain is encouraging. The IEA notes that the value chain that has historically been dominated by vertically integrated oil and gas companies are starting to break up, allowing new players to innovate and reduce costs in parts of the chain.
To offer deeper insight into the projects in which these companies are involved, we highlight four companies from the table above.
Equinor is a Norwegian oil and gas company whose portfolio also encompasses renewables and other low-carbon solutions. It is the largest provider of pipeline gas to Europe.
Since 1991, Equinor has been a partner in 23 CCUS projects, totalling an average announced capacity of 134 Mt of CO2 per year.
19 of these projects are still in the planning phase, 2 two are operational, 1 one is under construction and one has been decommissioned.
8 of these projects capture carbon from hydrogen/ammonia production processes, 8 others are related to CO2 transport and/or storage, and 3 are applied to natural gas processing.
In 20 of the 23 projects, the captured CO2 is stored permanently.
All but one of these projects are located in Europe (including the UK), with the sole exception of one project being in Algeria.
Shell, a British multinational oil and gas company that was formed in 1907, is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry.
Shell participates in 28 CCUS projects around the world, with a total capacity of 62.9 Mt of CO2 per year.
23 of these projects are in the planning phase, with the expected operation date ranging from 2024 to 2030.
3 of the projects are already operational, and 2 are under construction.
These projects’ applications vary widely, from 11 projects dedicated to CO2 transport and/or storage, 6 to hydrogen and ammonia production, 3 to natural gas processing, 3 to other fuel transformation, and the rest applied to power and heat, biofuels, and other industries.
In 22 of these projects, the captured CO2 is put into dedicated storage.
Air Liquide is a French multinational supplier of industrial gasses and services to a variety of industries, including medical, chemical, and electronic manufacturers.
It is involved in 29 CCUS projects whose average announced capacity totals 51.9 Mt CO2 per year.
17 of these projects transport the captured CO2, while 6 are in other fuel transformation, 3 are applied to cement manufacturing, 2 are in the iron and steel sectors, and 1 in other industry.
All 29 projects are still in the planning phase, with the expected operation date ranging from 2024 to 2040.
27 of these projects will be located in Europe, and the rest in the US.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is an industrial and electrical equipment manufacturer headquartered in Japan, whose wide-ranging portfolio includes aerospace and automotive components, air conditioners, utility vehicles, defense equipment and weapons, and power systems.
Mitsubishi is a partner on 17 CCUS projects, totaling 27.3 Mt CO2 per year in average announced capacity.
All 17 are still in the planning phase and will be located mostly in North America and the UK.
Their sectoral applications will be varied, with 5 projects capturing CO2 from hydrogen/ ammonia production processes, 3 from power and heat, 3 from natural gas processing, 3 dedicated to CO2 transport and storage, 2 from cement manufacturing, and the rest from other industries.
The CO2 captured from 11 of the projects will be permanently stored.
2030 Global Projections
The IEA data includes CCUS projects that have been announced as of March 2023, and whose construction and operation are expected in the future. In this section, we use that data to predict developments in the global CCUS landscape between now and 2030, both in terms of the geographic distribution of growth and the different fates of carbon.
North American and European Policy Will Drive Lead in Regional Capacity Growth
Growing recognition of the role of CCUS technologies in meeting net zero goals is translating into increased policy support all over the world, which in turn is spurring increased growth in CCUS projects. The predominant forms of policy support are tax credits for projects, funding for R&D, and regulatory reforms. Owing to these measures, over 140 new projects were announced globally in 2022, bringing the global announced CCUS capacity up to 45.8 Mt CO2 per year. This compares to 35.7 Mt CO2 per year in 2017, a 28.3% increase over five years.
Looking ahead to 2030, this growth in CCUS capacity is set to accelerate. We can see this trend in the chart below.
Hover over graph to interact
North America will likely account for the vast majority of the increase in CCUS capacity over the next decade, rising roughly 6x from 27.7 Mt CO2 per year in 2023 to 161.8 Mt CO2 per year in 2030. This capacity expansion is in large part due to the region’s established policies designed to stimulate CCUS market growth. Country-specific analysis reveals that the United States will be the primary policy driver of this acceleration, with Canada playing a secondary but important role. With around 80 projects planned for operation by 2030, the CO2 capture capacity in the US is expected to increase by nearly a factor of five, from over 20 Mt CO2 to over 100 Mt CO2 per year, more than 60% of North America’s expected growth.
Although not as drastically as in North America, Europe is also expecting capacity growth, from 2.5 Mt CO2 per year in 2023 to 95 Mt CO2 in 2030 – a nearly 40x increase in less than a decade.
Changes in the Fate of Carbon: High Hopes for Dedicated Storage
Rapid CCUS deployment over the next several years will be accompanied by changes in how the captured carbon is used, known as the “fate of carbon.” As of 2022, most of the captured CO2 was used in enhanced oil recovery (EOR), at 39.9 Mt CO2 per year. EOR is the process of extracting oil from an oil field that has already gone through the primary and secondary stages of oil recovery. In other words, the use of CO2 in EOR is a way to rejuvenate oil production at mature oil fields. This explains the fact that large oil producers have been the leading players developing CCUS capacity and the recent renewed interest from many of those same companies. Although CO2-EOR can produce “carbon negative” oil (depending on a variety of factors), it is often not considered a reliable decarbonization strategy. At the same time, the clear commercial value of additional oil production has driven CO2 use in EOR to be the earliest and primary fate of carbon.
Starting in 2023, this is predicted to change: As shown in the chart below, dedicated storage is set for a take-off as the biggest fate of carbon. By 2030, we expect that 426.5 Mt CO2 per year will be put into dedicated storage infrastructure around the world, which is more than a 38-fold increase over eight years. On the other hand, EOR is projected to experience a more modest 1.7x growth.
Hover over graph to interact
Note: The second fastest growing fate of carbon is labeled “Unknown/Unspecified” because the IEA’s CCUS Database is based on publicly available information, and unfortunately many of the project announcements do not make the fate of carbon clear.
This projected growth in dedicated storage is encouraging. Since more CO2 needs to be sequestered than can be used, much of the captured CO2 needs to be permanently stored. This means that dedicated storage infrastructure is a prerequisite for carbon capture technologies to be deployed.
Many factors, both market- and policy-driven, are propelling the expansion of carbon storage. A growing number of companies, particularly in the manufacturing and energy sectors, are adopting net-zero targets that carve out a role for CCUS. Another factor is the growing proliferation of CCUS “hubs,” or clusters of infrastructure to capture, transport, store and/or use carbon. These hubs help to improve the economics of and therefore facilitate investments in CCUS projects. In the US, a slew of policy incentives, such as the 45Q tax credit passed in 2018 and those in the IRA and IIJA mentioned above, are boosting investments in CCUS projects. In the EU, the revenue from the Emissions Trading System began funding carbon capture, transportation, and storage projects from 2020.
The predicted growth of dedicated permanent storage infrastructure is welcome news from a climate perspective: According to the IEA, getting to net-zero emissions by 2050 requires that 95% of captured CO2 be permanently stored. There is more than enough geologic CO2 storage capacity globally to meet climate goals, and the technology for achieving this – such as pipelines for CO2 transportation, mechanisms for injecting, trapping, and monitoring CO2 underground – is well-established. Since CO2 transport and storage infrastructure needs to be operational before CO2 capture projects are developed, this projection is encouraging.
Barriers Remaining for Future CCUS Growth
More Policy Support is Needed to Boost Private Investment and Innovation in CCUS
Including all announced and planned CCUS projects in the IEA CCUS Database, the global CCUS capacity will reach 265.25 Mt CO2 per year by 2030. How does this projected increase compare to the amount of CO2 that needs to be sequestered to reach the IEA’s net-zero scenario?
Sadly, it falls far short of the target. According to the IEA, to stay aligned with its Net Zero by 2050, CCUS technologies need to capture 1.66 gigatons of CO2 (Gt CO2) per year by 2030 globally, and 7.6 Gt CO2 per year by 2050 to reach net-zero emissions. This means that current and planned capacity of CCUS projects expected in 2030 only accounts for less than 20% of the IEA’s target for 2030. The chart below puts this gap into perspective.
Hover over graph to interact
Given this gap, what more can governments and industry around the world do to rapidly scale up CCUS capacity to meet this target over the next decade? The IEA outlines four high-level priorities:
Creating the conditions that make private investment in CCUS more commercially attractive. Policymakers can achieve this by attaching value on CO2 emissions, providing funding support for capital and operating costs for early projects, and allocating risks across the public and private sectors.
Facilitate the development of CCUS hubs with shared CO2 transport and storage infrastructure. Identifying opportunities for CCUS deployment in specific industrial regions and establishing a business model for carbon transport and storage infrastructure, will go a long way toward this goal.
Identifying CO2 storage. The first step would be to characterize and assess geological CO2 storage around the world. The second is to establish a robust legal and regulatory framework around CO2 storage. Lastly, a concerted campaign to support public awareness will ensure that the general public understands and accepts CO2 storage technology.
Boosting innovation to reduce costs and increase the availability of critical technologies. This can be done through public-private partnerships in R&D and increased funding to revamp innovation in key CCUS applications (especially heavy industry, CO2 use for synthetic fuels, and carbon removal).
The policy support in North America, Europe and elsewhere mentioned above are instances of governments working toward meeting these priorities. But there are additional policy and technological developments that promise to accelerate growth faster than projected in this report.
The US Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed rules that would require power plants to capture or otherwise reduce their carbon emissions. Technological innovations are taking place in chemical absorption systems that can increase CO2 capture rate. The International CCS Knowledge Centre’s feasibility study found that retrofitting existing power plants with CCUS can be cost-competitive, suggesting that the barriers for power plant operators to build retrofit capture facilities may be lower than we assume today. All of these developments point toward the possibility of more rapid CCUS deployment than the IEA dataset projects.
Technologies to capture carbon from the atmosphere or from point sources are integral to the net zero roadmap. The key take-away is that the business case for CCUS is getting stronger each year as policymakers and investors support its development as a necessary climate solution. Yet, much more rapid deployment is necessary if we are to meet emissions targets to stabilize the climate by mid-century. As North America and Europe are set to experience accelerated growth in CCUS capacity, they may act as the catalysts for policymakers and project developers in other regions to also scale up their CCUS capabilities.
Get the market research you need, when you need it.
DG+ is a marketing, creative, and market research agency with a focus on clean energy and sustainable brands. Our team of diverse professionals is a leader in delivering pointed and prompt market insights to industry players. If you’re burnt out on the conventional marketing agency’s lack of understanding of the clean energy industry, struggling to communicate with your market, or on the hunt for new customers, we can provide the market insights you need.
As a small boutique agency, our in-house team of clean energy, sustainability, and cleantech experts have the experience and bandwidth to provide immediate solutions.
Policy and Regulatory Analysis
Market Strategy and Planning
Campaign Strategy and Content Creation
Contact List Building
DG+ offers flexible packages to provide customized strategic insights to help your business reach new audiences, develop products and services, and outperform the competition. Contact our team to see how we can craft a project to suit your organization.
Get the latest directly to you inbox.
Experience Where it Matters
Our experience includes work with utilities, solar and wind developers, EV equipment providers, non-profits, international organizations, and more.
Let's discuss your next project.
Are you looking for marketing, communications, creative, or research help? Simply fill out this form, and we'll be in touch!