In a Nutshell

  • In Lithuania’s vision of climate neutrality, the use of natural carbon sinks and CCUS technologies will be needed to compensate for hard-to-abate emissions.
  • Geological CO2 storage is currently prohibited by the Law of the Depths of the Earth .
  • The NECP identifies research and development on CCS technologies as necessary for Lithuania. Furthermore, Lithuania is collaborating on trans-border CO2 infrastructure and storage projects.
  • A feasibility study to assess the role of CCS in emissions reduction efforts is due sometime between 2023-2025. The results of this study might be significant for CDR as it might lead to recommendations to authorise geological CO2 storage.

Role for carbon removal in national climate policy

In its draft updated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), Lithuania the vision for climate neutrality by 2050 developed in its Resolution on the Approval of the National Climate Change Management Agenda. This vision includes maximum use of natural sinks, as well as an environmentally safe use of carbon capture and utilisation technologies to offset hard-to-abate greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). It also states that Lithuania will pay more attention to nature-based solutions when considering long-term solutions to climate change.

 

Lithuania has several policies targeted at maintaining and improving carbon sequestration from the Land-Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector. The Common Agricultural Policy Strategic Plan provides several incentives for practices that increase soil carbon sequestration, while the Soil Sustainable Use Action Plan 2030 creates a framework to preserve soils’ health. The draft NECP also recalls the targets for the LULUCF sector in the National Climate Change Management Agenda. These include increasing the stock of organic carbon in forests and wood products, increasing the country’s woodland surface to at least 35% by 2024, reaching at least 8,000 ha of permanent grassland, restoring at least 8,000 ha of carbon-rich ecosystems, ensuring their sustainable use, and halting the exploitation of new natural wetlands by 2024. The goal of these measures is to achieve at least 6.5 MtCO2e of net removals over the 2021-2030 period. Overall, existing policy instruments cover peatlands, wetlands, grassland, forests and agroforestry measures. Planned policy instruments include the conservation of grasslands, promotion of carbon farming, preservation of tree self-growth, afforestation, restoration of peatlands and “promotion of organic construction”.

 

The draft updated NECP builds on four objectives for the decarbonisation of the industry, in which the use and storage of captured carbon is mentioned. The NECP also points out that a feasibility study on the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) has been commissioned and is due sometime between 2023-2025.

Support for R&D and Innovation

The NECP states that research to develop CCS technologies and analysis of their applicability in Lithuania is necessary as part of its overall climate strategy. The NECP also claims that it is necessary to build open-access CO2 infrastructure within the country.

 

As part of the Lithuanian Climate Change Program, funds collected through emission allowance auctions are used, among others, to increase the GHG absorption capacity of the LULUCF sector.

 

In December 2022, companies in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia submitted two applications for Project of Common Interest status for CO2 transport infrastructure projects: the CCS Baltic Consortium aims to create a CO2 transport and sequestration infrastructure across Latvia and Lithuania. CO2 will be captured at cement plants and transported by rail to a terminal in Klaipeda port in Lithuania to then be shipped to offshore geological storage locations. The ECO2CEE project would create a CO2 transport import and export terminal in Poland, which would be linked with the port of Klaipeda.

 

On the horizon

A feasibility study to assess the role of CCS in emission reduction efforts is due sometime between 2023-2025. A call for tenders to fund the study is in preparation and should be announced throughout 2024. The feasibility study would analyse the possibilities of using CO2 capture and storage, hydrogen and other innovative technologies in Lithuanian industrial companies operating in the regions most at risk of being negatively impacted by the transition to a climate-neutral economy. The territories most affected by the transition are, as defined in the Territorial Plan of Just Transformation, the Kaunas, Šiauliai, and Telšiai counties.

 

The purpose of the study is to determine the necessary preparatory actions that should be taken at the national level to create conditions for the future development of CCU, hydrogen and other innovative technologies in Lithuanian industrial companies operating in the most negatively affected areas. The results of the completed feasibility study would help create conditions for industrial companies to transform and, as determined in the National Climate Change Management Agenda, to achieve a 100% net emissions reductions by 2050, 20% of which can be offset by natural carbon sinks and through CCU.

Contributors

Targets

  1. Net zero target: 2050
  2. Net Negative Target:

    No

  3. First interim target: 2030
  4. Type of interim target: Emissions reduction target
  5. GHGs covered: Carbon dioxide and other GHGs
  6. Separate target for emission reduction and removals: No
  7. Comprehensive CDR Target: no
  8. CDR Target for Conventional Removals: yes
  9. CDR Target for Novel Removals: no
  10. Historical emissions: No
  11. Annual reporting mechanism: Less than annual reporting

CDR Plans

  1. Plans for carbon removal (CDR): Yes (nature-based removals e.g. Forestation, soil carbon enhancement)
  2. Planning to use external carbon credits: No
  3. Conditions on use of carbon credits:

Key stakeholders

  • Ministry of Environment – Responsible for a large portfolio, including climate change, nature protections, forests and protected areas and landscape.
  • Lithuanian Geology Service – Responsible for regulating the use of the subsoil and carrying the country’s geological surveys.
  • Ministry of Economy and Innovation – Responsible for the country’s business and investment environment, innovation policy, the implementation of EU funds and the industry.
  • Ministry of Energy – Responsible for the country’s energy policy, as well as research and innovation in the energy sector.
  • Innovation Agency Lithuania – Promotes the country’s technologies and innovations.

Collaborators

Dr. Mayur Pal