When Project Greensand was ready to store the first-ever CO2 in Danish history in 2022, it was not just history, but a milestone in the implementation of a climate technology that the UN's climate panel had long emphasized the need for. No one had previously demonstrated the complete value chain of Carbon Capture and Storage – therefore GK launched the event First Carbon Storage.
As global temperatures increase and populations worldwide feel the very effects of climate change, there is a need for using every tool available in the fight again00st climate change.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one such tool. It’s a technology that captures CO2 from the atmosphere or industrial sources and stores it safely in underground reservoirs that have held oil and gas for millennia. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has repeatedly emphasized the necessity of CCS.
Insights showed that the broader population was characterized by their limited knowledge but significant skepticism about the idea and technology behind CCS. At the same time the support from politicians and the energy sector was lacking.
As a partner in the Project Greensand consortium, GK, has been responsible for the communication within the project.
The overall focus in the communication effort behind Project Greensand and First Carbon Storage has been to demystify CO2 storage.
GK has developed content about the safety and use of CCS as a technology. How it works, and why we should trust it. We created hero videos, animations and explainer videos that explained the technology step by step and portraits of consortium companies demonstrating why their expertise is necessary. All this tailored to fit specific target groups both in the industry and public.
The purpose of the communication strategy and First Carbon Storage event was not to overpromise CCS as the only solution but present it in a way that people could understand and relate to. That is why, throughout the project, GK emphasized showing what CCS means to the people who work with it and how they are helping develop a needed technology.
The First Carbon Storage event was also arranged to increase knowledge among politicians and the public about CCS as a real technology to combat climate change and to secure public and political support for CCS to enable the technology's scaling through permits and political agreements.
On 8th March 2023, his Royal Highness, the Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, gave the official order to store the first CO2 via a direct link to the INEOS offshore platform – located over 1.8km above the underground reservoir in the North Sea. This happened at the First Carbon Storage event in Esbjerg, Denmark, in the presence of 350+ esteemed guests, 50+ international reporters, and the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities – following a video address from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“It is thanks to pioneers like you that Europe is leading the way in the race to net zero emissions.”, Von der Leyen stated just moments before the Crown Prince gave the order – 50 years after his late father, Prince Henrik, initiated Danish oil and gas production from the very same reservoirs.
News of the ground-breaking achievement had travelled around the world. The key stats include:
• A global audience reach of over 2,8 billion across 65+ countries.
• More than 1,500 unique articles in media outlets such as BBC World News, Associated Press, Reuters, AFP, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Welt, ARD, Al Jazeera, China Daily and The Times of India.
• A solid Project Greensand communication platform built throughout the project period, including 25 press releases, more than 100 articles, 4 TV features, 3 hero films, 8 explainer films, a website and more than 200 social media posts.
More than that, with Project Greensand and the First Carbon Storage event, INEOS succeeded in:
• Taking CCS to the world stage and showing a pathway for implementation – noticed by the likes of Ursula von der Leyen.
• Increasing the support for CCS in Denmark: In May 2021, 53% of Danes had heard about CO2 storage, and by April 2023, that number had risen to 69%. During the same period, the proportion of Danes supporting CO2 being stored in Denmark increased by nearly 23%.
• Establishing the world’s first bilateral agreement to move CO2 between two countries in a CCS value chain.
• Throughout the Project Greensand period, inspired the agreement of more than 7 political agreements to improve the framework for CCS in Denmark.
• INEOS was involved in presenting the Danish government's initiative on CCS, and the week after the First Carbon Storage event, the Danish Minister of Climate published a statement outlining the ambition to make Denmark's CO2 storage facilities available for CO2 captured in the rest of Europe.