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Europe’s Greens Embarrass Themselves…Again

In 2009, Europe announced a new program to finance the installation of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology in industrial plants, which would allow these plants to capture their own emissions and store them underground rather than releasing them into the atmosphere. The funding for the installations was expected to come from the sale of carbon credits and placed into a fund known as the NER300.

The first plants to recieve funding were supposed to be announced this year, but the program has run into a slight problem: The only plant that could have qualified for funds has just withdrawn itself from consideration due to technical difficulties. Considering that the goal was to have 12 such plants online by 2015, this is a major setback for a program that seems not to be able to get off the ground. The Financial Times reports:

The move means that a fund – once envisioned as a way to help finance as many as a dozen pilot plants deploying technology to capture and bury carbon emissions – will not support a single facility in its first phase. The grants, to be announced as early as this week, will instead go to renewable energy projects such as solar and wind power.

“At the end of the day, not a single CCS project will go ahead,” said Chris Davies, a British MEP who was instrumental in establishing the fund, known as the NER300. “This is a huge blow to efforts to combat climate change.”

In some ways, it’s fortunate for the CCS program that no projects are coming online, because the NER300 is already running out of money. Due to the long recession and slow industrial growth in Europe, emissions have been low, thus creating little market demand for carbon credits. As a result, most countries have not generated enough cash to co-finance CCS projects, which could cost up to a billion euros.

The plan seemed so simple: Make money by selling emissions credits, and then funnel this money back into more emissions reducing programs. It sounds solid—except the greens couldn’t make money, and even if they could have, there aren’t any programs to plow the money back into.

The greens want to run the world, yet they’ve proven time and again that they can’t even shoot straight.

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