Labour MEPs Jude Kirton-Darling (North East England) and Theresa Griffin (North West England) has shown Labour's strong commitment to implementing practical solutions to tackle climate change, while safeguarding and creating industrial jobs in the UK.
Together they hosted an event in Strasbourg's European Parliament to showcase examples of regional Industrial Carbon Capture Storage networks, which will allow large industrial greenhouse gases (GHG) emitters to join together and reduce their carbon footprint. CCS stops carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere by transporting it, via pipelines, for storage in underground voids or for use by other industries.
One such example is the North East public-private partnership, Teesside Collective. Teesside is rapidly becoming the EU's ‘industrial CCS’ test-bed, after the UK Government allocated £1m to investigate the feasibility of a network.
Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, originally from Middlesbrough, has welcomed the developments on Teesside:
"By making industry and manufacturing more environmentally sustainable, CCS can also protect tens of thousands of well-paid jobs in our local industries and, crucially, can create thousands more. The Teesside is particularly well-placed for CCS , not only for its industrial heritage and geography, but importantly due to the fact that we see CCS as part of our regional future. Our experience could benefit other industrial regions in Europe.
Carbon Capture and Storage must now be a central element in Europe's emerging plans if we are to tackle climate change and rebalance our economies by creating jobs today and protecting more for decades to come".
Theresa Griffin, Labour MEP and full member of the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee, stated:
"When we look towards industry and industrial growth we also have to look to the environment. We need to balance energy security, sustainable industry - particularly heavy industry -, the safeguarding of jobs and our climate objectives. To do this we should be looking at CCS as part of a suite of solutions. It is clean, affordable and reliable – exploiting local and diversified fossil fuel resources effectively, both in terms of cost and environmental impact."
Neil Kenley, Director of Business Investment with Tees Valley Unlimited, a member of Teesside Collective ICCS project, said:
“Europe’s industrial base is critical to creating jobs and wealth in local communities and providing the products, chemicals and materials our economies need to prosper. But these same energy intensive firms also need to play their part in climate change by reducing their emissions. CCS can help square this circle.
“In Teesside, home to nearly 60% of the UK’s chemical industry, anchor companies from the steel and process industries are working together with a shared vision of establishing the area as Europe’s first CCS equipped industrial zone, cutting emissions while attracting new inward investment. Teesside can be an example for other industrial clusters across the EU which need to consider similar initiatives if they’re to retain their competitiveness in a low carbon future. This meeting is an important step for MEPs who can play a key role in this drive."