Encouraging private sector research & development into alternative post-capture carbon management technologies in Canada

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Canadian industrial carbon dioxide emissions exacerbate climate change and decrease the likelihood of Canada meeting its 2020 greenhouse gas targets. One approach to reducing emissions is to capture the carbon dioxide and treat it as waste, disposing of it underground; this method has gained political favour in Canada but is not yet commercially viable and presents a range of potential problems – for example, it is an unproven technology, is not yet commercially available, and is very expensive.. Alternative forms of post-capture carbon management offer an opportunity to fix the gas in marketable products, but due to a number of factors, there is little incentive at present for private sector investment in a field that is still largely in the research and development stage. I analyse these barriers and argue that the federal government needs to play a stronger role in encouraging such research and development, offering policy options that would enable it to achieve that objective.
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