Pollution Abatement and Monitoring


Driver description
Interactions with the Technology Domain
Interactions within the Social Domain
Interactions with the Economy Domain
Interactions with the Environment Domain
Impacts on Mobility and Transport

Driver description

  • “Carbon sequestration involves removing GHG emissions from the atmosphere, either through enhancing natural ‘carbon sinks’ (e.g. conserving forested areas and enhancing river environments), the development of new carbon sinks (e.g. reforestation or afforestation) or through the capture and storage of GHGs being produced within the city (e.g. the capture of methane from landfill sites for energy generation).” (Ref: CO_0147)
  • “The increased uptake of cleaner and more efficient energy technologies envisaged in the ACT and the BLUE scenarios will need to be driven by:
    • Increased support for the research and development (R&D) of energy technologies that face technical challenges and need to reduce costs before they become commercially viable;
    • Demonstration programmes for energy technologies that need to prove they can work on a commercial scale under relevant operating conditions;
    • Deployment programmes for energy technologies that are not yet cost-competitive, but whose costs could be reduced through learning-by-doing. These programmes would be expected to be phased out as individual technologies become cost-competitive;
    • CO2 reduction incentives to encourage the adoption of low-carbon technologies. Such incentives could take the form of regulation, pricing incentives, tax breaks, voluntary programmes, subsidies or trading schemes. The ACT scenarios assume that policies and measures are put in place that would lead to the adoption of low-carbon technologies with a cost of up to USD 50/t CO2 saved from 2030 in all countries, including developing countries. In the BLUE scenarios the level of incentive is assumed to continue to rise from 2030 onwards, reaching a level of USD 200/t CO2 saved in 2040 and beyond;
    • Policy instruments to overcome other commercialisation barriers that are not primarily economic. These include enabling standards and other regulations, labelling schemes, information campaigns and energy auditing. These measures can play an important role in increasing the uptake of energy-efficient technologies in the building and transport sectors, as well as in non-energy intensive industry sectors where energy costs are low compared to other production costs.” (Ref: CO_0275)
  • “With regulation on CO2 emissions from cars and vans now agreed, a course towards a fleet of low emission vehicles has been set. The type-approval measurement procedure that forms the basis for the regulation does not, however, fully capture all energy-consuming technologies on a vehicle, and it will never be able to account for the influence of the driver and his or her driving style on fuel consumption. As a result, while there is correlation between the type-approval and in-use CO2 emissions, the magnitude of the reductions gauged from the type-approval conditions does not necessarily lead to an equal reduction of the in-use consumption.” (Ref: CO_5030)

Interactions within the Technology Domain

Technology development in general and innovation diffusion

  • “There are important opportunities for reducing CO2 emissions through the use of CCS[1] in iron and cement manufacturing.” (Ref: CO_0275)
  • “Three main technology options exist for CO2 capture: post-combustion, pre-combustion, and oxyfueling (or denitrogenation)”. (Ref: CO_0275)
  • “Advanced coal technologies (often confused with clean coal technologies) will play an important role in minimising the environmental impact of future coal use by reducing dust, sulphur oxides (SOx) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions. At the same time, these technologies have the potential to deliver improved thermal efficiency and hence to reduce CO2 emissions per unit of electricity generated.”(Ref: CO_0275)
  • “As effective as these emissions reductions have been using the latest pollution abatement technologies, the relative effectiveness of new technologies is becoming increasingly marginal (...)” (Ref: CO_0276)
  • “The emission reductions across the EU27 since 1990 have been achieved as a result of a combination of measures, including fuel-switching in energy-related sectors away from high sulphur-containing solid and liquid fuels to low sulphur fuels such as natural gas, the fitting of flue gas desulphurisation abatement technology in industrial facilities and the impact of European Union directives relating to the sulphur content of certain liquid fuels.” (Ref: CO_0233)

[1] CO2 Capture and Storage.

Interactions with the Social Domain

No particularly relevant interrelationships have been found.

Interactions with the Economy Domain

Regional differences in economics

  • “In most of the major world economies, carbon capture and storage (CCS) is seen as an important greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement option. In many regions, energy and environmental policy frameworks are beginning to be established to support CCS, but significant gaps still remain.” (Ref: CO_0275)

Market regulations

  • “CCS mandates and GHG emissions caps will result in higher costs for electricity generators and industry. In jurisdictions where electricity markets are regulated, electricity generators need to be reassured that the cost of their investments in new technology will be recoverable either directly or through regulated prices (Cowart, et al., 2007). In setting prices, energy regulators are attempting to strike a balance between acknowledging the investment risks faced by electricity producers and the need to protect consumers from inefficient investment or excessive profit taking.” (Ref: CO_0275)
  • “The expansion of CCS will raise a number of legal and regulatory issues. The most important of these include: developing regulations for CO2 transport; establishing jurisdiction among international, national, state/provincial and local government actors; establishing ownership of storage-space resources and legal means for acquiring the rights to develop/use such resources, including access rights; developing clear guidelines for site selection, permitting, monitoring and verifying CO2 retention; clarifying long-term liabilities and financial responsibility for CO2 storage operations; and, in the case of offshore CO2 storage, complying with appropriate international marine environment protection instruments.” (Ref: CO_0275)

Fiscal policy

  • “Among other issues, the proposal aims to promote sustainability by restructuring the tax base of both registration taxes and annual circulation taxes so as to include elements directly related to CO2 emissions of passenger cars in those Member States that apply such taxes.” (Ref: CO_0250)

Interactions with the Environment Domain

GHG mitigation
  • “The 2007 strategy aimed at reaching the Community objective of an equivalent of 120 gCO2/km by 2012 through a legislative framework addressing supply oriented measures. The package of measures listed the following elements:
    •  to reach an objective of 130 gCO2/km for the average new car fleet by means of improvements in vehicle motor technology;
    • setting minimum efficiency requirements for air-conditioning systems;
    • the compulsory fitting of accurate tyre pressure monitoring systems;
    • setting maximum tyre rolling resistance limits in the EU for tyres fitted on passenger cars and light commercial vehicles;
    • the use of gear shift indicators, taking into account the extent to which such devices are used by consumers in real driving conditions;
    • fuel efficiency progress in light-commercial vehicles (vans) with the objective of reaching 175 gCO2/km by 2012 and 160 gCO2/km by 2015;
    • increased use of biofuels maximizing environmental performance.” (Ref: CO_0250)
  • “With the world’s dependence on fossil fuels not expected to abate significantly in the short to medium-term, CCS[1] is a critical technology to reduce CO2 emissions and decarbonise both the industry and power sectors.” (Ref: CO_0185)

[1] Carbon Capture and Storage

  • “If carbon capture and storage (CCS) is available and applied on a large scale, gas may become a lowcarbon technology, but without CCS, the long-term role of gas may be limited to a flexible backup and balancing capacity where renewable energy supplies are variable. For all fossil fuels, carbon capture and storage will have to be applied from around 2030 onwards in the power sector in order to reach the decarbonisation targets. CCS is also an important option for decarbonisation of several heavy industries and combined with biomass could deliver carbonnegative’ values. The future of CCS crucially depends on public acceptance and adequate carbon prices; it needs to be sufficiently demonstrated on a large scale and investment in the technology ensured in this decade, and then deployed from 2020, in order to be feasible for widespread use by 2030.” (Ref: CO_0245)
  • “Monitoring provides a basis for risk management to ensure that CO2 remains contained within pre-defined geological structures, and does not flow back to the surface or into subsurface zones where it may be detrimental to other resources such as fresh water or oil and gas reservoirs.”(Ref: CO_0275)
  • “Monitoring requirements will be different for different phases of a CO2 storage project Benson, 2007):
    • During site selection, assessment and certification, measurement will be essential for setting the project baseline from an environmental and hydrological perspective;
    • During injection, monitoring will help to enable the control of injection parameters (e.g. rates of injection) and confirm the validity of predictions from modelling simulations. In the event of discrepancies, monitoring will allow project operators to update and re-optimise the project parameters;
    • Monitoring during closure and after closure will also be necessary. After CO2 injection has stopped, and a project’s performance has been assessed, government and project operators must work together to establish post-closure monitoring parameters. The post-closure phase will involve the documentation of CO2 plume migration and information on well monitoring, among other things.” (Ref: CO_0275)

Pollution levels and emissions standards

  • “The power sector is the most important potential contributor to global emission reductions in both low-carbon scenarios.” (Ref: CO_0275)
  • “Authorities can choose from a range of abatement options. Low emission zones (in combination with retrofit initiatives), traffic planning, and measures aiming at a shift of motor vehicle mileage to other transport modes, are all examples of important management elements to reduce air pollutant concentrations. A ban of studded tires (as used in certain Scandinavian countries during winter) is an example of an effective measure to help abate non-exhaust PM pollution.” (Ref: CO_0238)

Impacts on Mobility and Transport

Fossil fuel based journeys

  • “Most people in Europe live in urban areas and mainly travel short distances. Such journeys are estimated to account for 40% of all CO2 emissions from road transport. The EU target for 2030 is to cut the number of fossil-fuelled vehicles in urban areas by half and to phase out these vehicles by 2050. CO2-free transport and logistics in large cities is the target for 2030.” (Ref: CO_0234)