Jeff Erikson on Carbon Management

Jeff Erikson is General Manager of Client Engagement at GCCSI (Global CCS Institute). He is also a plenary speaker at the 2019 Carbon Management Technology Conference (CMTC) in Houston, Texas. We recently caught up with Jeff to find out what we can expect during the conference.

In your opinion, what is the most important current trend in carbon management?

I think the most important trend in carbon management is the growing understanding that the world will need to get to net zero carbon emissions in order to achieve a stable climate, and we have only a few decades to do that. The conversation has moved from 25-50% reductions to net zero. This means that just adding renewable energy and improving energy efficiency won’t get us there.  Instead we’ll need to abate all of the CO2 from all major sources, including not only power generating stations, but also industrial facilities such as steel plants, cement plants, refineries, chemical plants, etc.  It also means that we need to pursue all options for carbon mitigation, and ramp them up very quickly.

What specifically will you be talking about at the conference?

I am providing a global roundup on where carbon capture and storage is now, and where it is heading, including answering the following:

  • Where are the hotspots around the world, what is driving interest and activity in those regions, and what can we learn from them?
  • What is impeding new CCS projects here in the US, and how can we get past those impediments?
  • Where are the best opportunities for investment?
  • How can CCS proponents communicate more effectively with decision-makers and other stakeholders?

What message would you like the audience to take away from this year’s CMTC?

Taking action in the immediate term to reduce and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions is good for business, good for communities, and good for this country’s and the world’s citizens. The longer we wait, the more severe the impacts from global warming. Business and governments must work together to address this need, with government providing policy that enables businesses to invest, and businesses taking the risks and making the investments to transition to a low-carbon economy.

How do you envision CMTC advancing some of the Grand Challenges in engineering and society?

One of the Grand Challenges is to develop carbon sequestration methods. CMTC directly addresses this. However, all of the Challenges require funding, investment and focus. Aggressive action on climate change now will make available — to both business and government — more funding, investment and focus than we will have if we delay action on climate and expend more and more of our resources on responding to the effects of climate change.

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Jeff Erikson

Jeff Erikson joined the Institute in January 2016 as General Manager - The Americas, before moving to the role of General Manager - Client Engagement in 2017. Read more