Every technology begins with inspiration – an idea and a vision for a different way of doing something. The next step is research and development – the intensive technical, scientific work that turns an idea on paper into a technology that works in practice. Then, the final step is critical: How do you scale up a technology into something that can benefit millions, or even billions, of people in the real world?
It takes capital investment (among other things).
In the case of a technology like CCS, the investment required is enormous, and deployment at an industrial scale is a long-term commitment. To make the long-term business case for such an investment, stakeholders expect that government policy will support the technology they’re helping to scale. If the existing regulatory environment is working against that, investment is unlikely.
To attract the capital investment needed to make a concept like a CCS hub a reality, ExxonMobil believes in three key policy positions.
1. An economy-wide price on carbon
Establishing a coordinated, transparent, economy-wide market price on carbon dioxide is an important element of building the business case for capturing it. A stable and transparent price on carbon can help provide the economic clarity and stability required to drive investment – as well as incentivize action to reduce emissions.
2. A technology-neutral approach
No single technology will enable society to meet the climate ambitions outlined in the Paris Agreement. That’s why it’s so important that government policies acknowledge the need for many different solutions to be treated equally and for each to have the opportunity to thrive. With a technology-neutral framework, emission-reduction technologies will be able to compete on a level playing field.
3. A predictable policy landscape
Investors are drawn to certainty, and innovative minds to opportunity. Predictable, stable, cost-effective policies to incentivize CCS are needed to promote the broad deployment and scalability of this technology. The climate change challenge is long term, and any policy response needs to have the same perspective. One long-term policy incentive could be a tax credit to promote the allocation of capital to CCS.
A challenge for technology … and policy
Finding the right policy solutions to support CCS is as much of a challenge as deploying the technology itself. To help make progress on policy, ExxonMobil continues to engage in efforts to encourage sound and constructive solutions. For more information, read the policy section of our Advancing Climate Solutions 2022 Progress Report.
We respect and support society’s ambition to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and continue to advocate for policies that promote cost-effective, market-based solutions to address the risks of climate change.