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McKinsey Quarterly: What Is Carbon Capture and Storage?

Author: Climate Change Special Initiative
January 2009

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Executives and public policy makers should familiarize themselves with the technologies involved in carbon capture and storage (CCS) as they work toward reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, McKinsey's Climate Change Special Initiative reports.

Climate change has businesses, governments, and nonprofits examining how to stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gases while still maintaining economic growth. In plotting the course to a low-carbon economy, they will weigh a number of methods for addressing the various risks and opportunities. Carbon capture and storage (CCS)--or more accurately, the sequestration of carbon dioxide--is an important topic in the emerging field of climate change. It represents one possible approach for stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gases--although there are many economic, technical, and legal barriers to its implementation. As background for informed discussion, we offer this interactive depiction of the technologies involved in CCS.

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