Carbon capture and storage is ‘no free lunch’, warns climate chief

IPPC chair Hoesung Lee says over-reliance on the technology could mean the world misses 1.5C target

Over-reliance on carbon capture and storage technology could lead the world to surpass climate tipping points, the head of the world’s climate science authority has warned.

Hoesung Lee, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said using technologies that capture carbon dioxide or remove it from the atmosphere was “no free lunch” and that countries should be wary.


Lee noted that the IPCC had found it was likely that global temperatures could rise by more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, but could then be made to return to below 1.5C by the end of the century. “The jargon for that is the overshoot,” he said. “Carbon dioxide removal methods will be much in demand if that overshoot indeed occurs.”

“But there will be a cost to doing that. There’s no free lunch. And that cost includes that the longer the period of overshoot, there will be additional global warming, and there will be consequences of increased warming.

Read Guardian report