The Carbon Race to the Bottom for Subsidies

June 5th 2021
Across Canada and around the world, rent-seekers — oil companies, car makers, battery companies, solar power firms, mining companies, banks and finance houses — are scrambling to get their share of the global carbon-reduction subsidy bonanza. Carbon capture, utilization and storage is a current favorite among the corporate/activist power group. For example, the Public Policy Forum claims that CCUS and direct air capture will play an integral role in meeting Canada's 2030 climate objectives, and what's needed are "incentives to attract private capital investment." In June Norway will host an international conference to promote CCUS. ExxonMobil marked Earth Day 2021 with a call for a "$100 billion or more" CCUS project in Texas, that would require public and private funding, along with “enhanced regulatory and legal frameworks that enable investment and innovation.”

The International Energy Agency has issued a special report on CCUS stating that carbon capture needs grant support, operational subsidies, carbon pricing, carbon trading mechanisms, regulatory standards, risk mitigation measures, and government-funded innovation and R&D. The IEA has also issued a new report, The Role of Critical Minerals in Energy Transitions, that documents key problems in sourcing the commodities needed to support the accelerated development of solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles. For example, an electric car requires six times the mineral inputs of a conventional vehicle and an onshore wind plant needs nine times the mineral resources of a gas-fired power plant. According to the IEA, to avoid shortages and high prices for the needed commodities, governments will have to streamline permitting procedures and provide financing to de-risk projects.

Read more

See articles
Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage — The Time is Now

Norwegian Prime Minister To Open Global Carbon Capture Summit

Exxon floats $100 bln carbon storage project requiring public, private financing

See reports
Energy Technology Perspectives 2020 - Special Report on Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage

The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions - World Energy Outlook Special Report

Friends of Science

Click to close