Denmark will be first country to import, store other countries' captured CO2

"Our subsoil contains a storage potential far larger than our own emissions," said Danish Climate Minister Lars Aagaard.
Chris Young
An image of a repurposed oil drill.
An image of a repurposed oil drill.

Greensand Project / Twitter 

This week, Denmark inaugurated the world's first national project to bury CO2 from abroad and bury it deep beneath the ocean.

The Nordic country is administering a so-called CO2 graveyard where it will bury CO2 roughly 5,900 feet (1,800 meters) beneath the North Sea.

The new initiative, called the "Greensand" project, is led by British chemical giant Ineos and German oil company Wintershall Dea. It's part of a wider plan to prevent the release of CO2 into the atmosphere in order to attempt to stave off the worst effects of climate change.

Denmark will store other countries' CO2

The Greensand project is one of many carbon capture and storage (CSS) projects in the works around the world. It will aim to store up to eight million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030 to help fight climate change. As EuroNews points out in a report, roughly 30 CSS projects are currently operational or in development throughout Europe.

What sets the Greensand project apart from other similar initiatives is the fact that Denmark is importing CO2 from abroad for its CSS project, making it the first country to do so.

The CO2 is first captured at the source and then liquefied before being transported by ship. However, the project may use pipelines in the future.

The new project "will help us reach our climate goals, and since our subsoil contains a storage potential far larger than our own emissions, we are able to store carbon from other countries as well," explained Climate Minister Lars Aagaard.

Danish authorities, who aim to reach carbon neutrality by around 2045, say the new initiative is "a much-needed tool in our climate toolkit."

Carbon capture is a small part of the picture

It's worth noting that, though the Greensand project could store millions of tonnes of CO2, it will form part of a much larger global effort required to avert the climate crisis.

The European Environment Agency (EEA), for example, says that the member states of the EU emitted 3.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2020 alone.

Following a landmark report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2021, global organizations have come to terms with the fact that we must try to use all the tools at our disposal to fight climate change.

This has led to scientists floating some pretty extreme proposals, such as blocking sunlight from reaching Earth by lifting lunar dust into orbit between the Sun and the Earth.

The carbon capture and storage method has also faced criticism from some environmentalists who argue it is a "dangerous distraction" from the crucial goal of massively reducing emissions.

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