Drax, Velocys help launch Coalition for Negative Emissions

By Erin Voegele | October 13, 2020

U.K.-based companies Drax Group and Velocys are among 11 organizations that have launched the Coalition for Negative Emissions, which aims to achieve a sustainable and resilient recovery from COVID-19 by developing pioneering projects that can remove carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the atmosphere.

The new coalition sent a letter to leaders of the U.K. government on Oct. 9 stressing the need for negative emissions technologies that will be critical to ensuring the U.K. achieves its net zero goal in a credible, cost-effective and sustainable way.

“As well as benefiting the environment, negative emissions technologies and projects can build back a cleaner, greener economy in the wake of COVID-19,” the coalition said. “The foundations for this are already being laid by our coalition’s members today.”

The letter cites Drax’s plan to combine sustainable biomass with carbon capture technology (BECCS) to create a carbon-negative power station and Velocys’ proposed Altalto waste-to-jet fuel project that could produce negative-emission jet fuel as two of the projects being undertaken by coalition members to commercialize negative-emission technologies.

“With COP26 fast approaching, there is a real and compelling opportunity for the U.K. government to demonstrate to the world it is taking a leadership position on negative emissions,” the coalition wrote. “Conversely if the U.K. does not act quickly, it could jeopardize the delivery of projects in the 2020s that can support innovation, learning by doing and the scale-up of negative emissions in the 2030s. It also risks Britain falling behind in the race to scale and commercialize these technologies, with a view to exporting them to other countries around the world to support their own decarbonization efforts.”

The coalition is specifically calling on the U.K. government to adopt a clear, unambiguous commitment to supporting negative emissions in the 2020s and beyond; develop targeted policies to support viable negative emissions projects in the 2022's and seize the opportunity to make negative emissions a point of emphasis at COP26.

In addition to Drax and Velocys, members of the coalition include Carbon Engineering, Carbon Removal Centre, CBI, Carbon Capture and Storage Association, Climeworks, Energy U.K., Heathrow, International Airlines Group, and the U.K. National Farmers Union.

A full copy of the letter can be downloaded from the Drax website.