Five northern European countries conclude international arrangements on transport and storage of carbon across borders

A European infrastructure for carbon capture and storage is underway. Today, arrangements between Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden allow cross-border transport and geological storage of captured CO2.

Carbon capture and storage is a tool that can capture some of the emissions that are very difficult to prevent – and capturing those emissions is necessary in order to reach European climate goals. That makes carbon capture and storage an essential climate tool.

In 2021, Norway and the Netherlands signed an arrangement on energy cooperation around the North Sea, including carbon capture and storage. Similar arrangements are in place between Norway and Belgium (2022) and Denmark (2023), as well as a joint declaration with Sweden in 2022. In addition, in 2022 and 2023 Denmark, Belgium (the Federal State, Flanders and Wallonia) as well as Netherlands signed arrangements for the transport and storage of captured carbon across borders.

Today, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden each established an arrangement on cross-border transport of CO2 with Norway. Sweden and Denmark concluded a similar arrangement, too. This removes some of the obstacles on the way to a well-functioning carbon capture and storage-market in the wide North Sea region.

“Storage of CO2 is a cost-effective means of reducing emissions on time to reach the EU climate targets. This cooperation between Norway and the Netherlands on cross-border CO2 transport, is an important step in the development of an open European CCS market.It contributes to the EU climate goals and economic development. I am hopeful that this declaration will soon be followed by concrete project between the Netherlands and Norway,” says Rob Jetten Minister for Climate and Energy, the Netherlands.

“Norway has great potential to store CO2 and I am pleased that other countries will store CO2 in Norwegian storage sites. The capacity is enormous. The climate challenge transcends borders, and it is crucial that we put in place solutions for transport of CO2 across national borders. This is an important day for the climate, for our industries and for the first full-scale European CCS project “Longship,” says Norway’s Minister of Energy Terje Aasland.

In order to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors, we need carbon capture and storage. In order to reach climate neutrality by 2050 in Europe, we need carbon capture and storage in a larger, international scale. Today’s arrangements are two great steps in the right direction. It’s all hands on deck – and I’m glad to see both Norway and Sweden joining our work towards an international industry for carbon capture and storage,” says Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities Lars Aagaard.

“Beside extensive mitigation, the capture and storage of CO2 will be necessary to curb the climate crisis. CCS and BECCS will play a key role towards EU:s objective for climate neutrality 2050 and negative emissions thereafter. Sweden has a great potential för BECCS and we already have projects underway. These agreements are essential for Sweden and its industry in realizing a fossil free future,” says Sweden’s Minister for Climate and Environment Romina Pourmokhtari.

”Developing new methods to reduce CO2 emissions is crucial for the future of our planet. This is a promising climate technology. The sea can play a key role in this regard. Not only has it always been of great importance in regulating our climate, but it also offers opportunities for carbon capture and storage. Over the past 2 years, we have already concluded agreements with the Netherlands and Denmark. Today, we are taking another important step with Norway to store captured CO2 in their depleted oil and gas fields,” says Belgian Minister of the North Sea Paul Van Tigchelt.

“Like the rest of Europe, Wallonia is at a pivotal point in its development. The ques-tion of the resilience of our economy and, more broadly, of our society, has become central. If we are to achieve our climate objectives, the key factors are undoubtedly energy sobriety, energy efficiency and the development of renewable energies. How-ever, not all Walloon companies face the same challenges: their manufacturing pro-cesses vary and CO2 emissions are sometimes inherent to production processes. CO2 capture therefore becomes a vital solution for these enterprises. I welcome today's signing of the Memorandum with Norway to enable the permanent storage of carbon dioxide, which takes on its full meaning in this context”, says Walloon Minister for Climate, Energy, Mobility, and Infrastructure of the Walloon Region Philippe Henry

“The capture, transport, storage and reuse of CO2 will play an important role in the future of Flanders, in addition to the continuation of our strong policy on renewable energy and well-thought-out energy efficiency measures. Various companies in Flanders are already focusing on the rollout of the CCUS to reduce their footprint. Since Norway has great potential for the storage of CO2, this intense cooperation between Flanders and Norway supports and stimulates the future development of the CCUS-value chain”, says Flemish Minister for Justice and Enforcement, Environment, Energy and Tourism Zuhal Demir.