Beneath the Waves - Norway and CO2 Emmissions | Highlights | DW | 13.10.2020

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Beneath the Waves - Norway and CO2 Emmissions

Oil nation Norway plans to help fight climate change by capturing and storing Europe’s carbon emissions. The ‘Northern Lights’ project will store captured CO2 emissions in the North Sea.

But this procedure is not without risks.

The world is facing a climate catastrophe, and despite rapid growth in renewable energy production, some industries continue to emit vast amounts of CO2 during production processes. Two of these industries are cement and steel, both crucial for the economy. A solution is needed, and Norway believes part of the answer for Europe is carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The country has called its CCS project ‘Northern Lights.’ The plan is to capture CO2 emitted from industrial sites, liquefy it, and then transport the liquefied gas via pipelines to be stored in the North Sea, approximately 3000 meters below sea level. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said that the only way to limit the global rise in temperature to a maximum of two degrees is to capture and store many billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases. But in Germany people have protested against the use of carbon capture and storage.

The technology has been fraught with problems in the past. And there are other, more natural alternatives.

One option could be to restore moorlands and bogs. When wet, these store carbon that has been sucked from the air by plants. But many bogs have been drained for farming, and as drained moorlands dry, CO2 is produced, meaning they have become a source of pollution rather than carbon storage. Reversing this and returning them to their carbon storing potential could be relatively inexpensive, as well as being a more natural way of reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. 

This documentary weighs up the pros and cons of CCS and investigates why the restoration of moorlands has hardly progressed in years. 

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