Decision to scrap carbon capture project ‘absurd’

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The Government’s decision to drop a £1 billion competition to develop technology to capture and store carbon emissions from power plants is “absurd”, it has been warned.

The industry-backed Task Force on Shale Gas has produced its final report in which it said shale - which is exploited through controversial fracking - could be produced “safely and usefully” in the UK.

But task force chairman Lord Chris Smith warned there was no medium or long term future for gas without technology to capture and store permanently underground the carbon emissions from the fossil fuel, in a process known as carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Last month the Government scrapped a £1 billion funding pot which could have helped Yorkshire become a world leader in the pioneering technology via the White Rose Project.

Now, following the commitments all countries - including the UK - agreed in Paris to cut emissions and curb rising global temperatures, “we need to be doing everything we can to create that long term low carbon future”, Lord Smith warned.

“We need gas for the short term, of course, but it’s not a long term option particularly not if you don’t have CCS.”