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Shelving carbon capture could cost £30bn, says NAO

The government’s decision to cancel a £1-billion carbon capture and storage commercialisation competition may add £30bn to the cost of meeting the UK's climate targets, the National Audit Office has said.

As part of a report on sustainability in the spending review, published on 20 July, the public spending watchdog reviewed the government’s decision to withdraw funding for the CCS scheme. The scheme was abandoned in November 2015 on the grounds that the technology was still more expensive than Whitehall had expected.

The NAO revealed that the (now defunct) Department for Energy and Climate Change had warned the Treasury before the decision was taken, that meeting the targets by 2050 without CCS would cost an extra £30bn. The end of the scheme means that a more expensive mix of low-carbon technologies will be required to decarbonise the power sector, the auditors said.

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