I agree that CCS has an important role to play in the regeneration of coastal communities and perhaps areas that have been forgotten over the last few years. That includes the area that the hon. Gentleman represents, many areas in Scotland and the area that I represent.
The report contains six recommendations for how CCS can perform that crucial role. I believe that we reached the right conclusions, for three reasons. First, the UK has made commitments, through the Climate Change Act 2008 and international agreements, to reduce carbon emissions. Those were most recently reconfirmed in Paris in autumn 2015. As a result, we have a duty to put in place measures that will enable us to get on with meeting those targets at the lowest possible cost to the country’s consumers and taxpayers.
It quickly became apparent to the group that we cannot get on with that without CCS. The great advantage of CCS is that it is a highly strategic technology that can deliver emissions reductions across many sectors, including, as we have heard, power generation, energy-intensive industries, heat and transport. It should also be pointed out that CCS has the potential to safely store 15% of current UK CO2 emissions by 2030 and up to 40% by 2050.
There is a cost associated with inaction on CCS. Last summer, the Committee on Climate Change highlighted that if we take no action on CCS, the cost to UK consumers will be £1 billion to £2 billion per annum in the 2020s, rising to £4 billion to £5 billion per annum in the 2040s.