Editor’s Edition: Is carbon capture tech a ‘dangerous distraction’?: Yahoo Finance Canada

Technology that removes carbon emissions from the air at oil refineries, or the smokestacks at cement factories, is attracting billions in investments and serious attention from governments eager to fight climate change. But not everyone is sold on carbon capture technology and storage (CCS).

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Greenpeace, and about 500 environmental groups say CCS is a “dangerous distraction” that does nothing to stop the root causes of climate change. In a letter sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden, they argue that government financial support for CCS will slow the transition from fossil fuels and support heavy-polluting industries.
A group representing Canada’s oil industry, for example, is looking for Ottawa to pay for up to 70 per cent of a proposed $75 billion project to decarbonize the country’s controversial oilsands
Tom Rand, author of the book Climate Capitalism, says CCS technology has a place in hard-to-decarbonize industries like steel and cement. However, he sees the request by the energy industry as an attempt to “capture” public money as Ottawa spends on its climate goals.
Rand also weighs in on Jeff Bezos’ idea about moving the world’s largest sources of industrial pollution into space.
“It’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard,” he told Yahoo Finance Canada’s Jeff Lagerquist. “Frankly, it’s astounding to me that someone so successful can be so misinformed about the nature of the industries that we need to tackle, and the timeframe in which we need to tackle them."
Rounding out a tech-heavy show, Rand gives his views on the race to build grid-scale, long-duration storage solutions. The idea is to store excess power from renewable sources like wind and solar, so it can be deployed later when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.
Got a question for Tom Rand? Email Jeff.Lagerquist@yahoofinance.com and let him know what interests you in the world of clean energy and technology.
Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.
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