The CEO of multinational Italian energy company Enel has expressed question on the usefulness of carbon capture and storage, suggesting the technology is not a weather solution.

“We have tried out and tried — and when I say ‘we’, I imply the energy industry,” Francesco Starace explained to CNBC’s Karen Tso on Wednesday.

“You can picture, we tried using difficult in the previous 10 decades — possibly much more, 15 yrs — simply because if we had a reliable and economically exciting remedy, why would we go and shut down all these coal crops [when] we could decarbonize the procedure?”

The European Commission, the EU’s govt arm, has described carbon capture and storage as a suite of systems concentrated on “capturing, transporting, and storing CO2 emitted from energy plants and industrial facilities.”

The notion is to cease CO2 “reaching the environment, by storing it in suitable underground geological formations.”

The Commission has claimed the utilization of carbon seize and storage is “essential” when it will come to encouraging reduced greenhouse fuel emissions. This view is primarily based on the competition that a sizeable proportion of both equally marketplace and electrical power era will however be reliant on fossil fuels in the several years ahead.

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Enel’s Starace, even so, appeared skeptical about carbon capture’s likely.

“The truth is, it does not get the job done, it has not worked for us so considerably,” he mentioned. “And there is a rule of thumb in this article: If a technological know-how would not genuinely select up in five a long time — and in this article we are conversing about additional than 5, we’re chatting about 15, at least — you better drop it.”

There are other climate options, Starace said. “In essence, end emitting carbon,” he explained.

“I’m not indicating it can be not well worth trying again but we are not heading to do it. Perhaps other industries can attempt harder and do well. For us, it is not a answer.”

Carbon seize technologies is generally held up as a resource of hope in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, showcasing prominently in countries’ local climate strategies as well as the web-zero strategies of some of the world’s biggest oil and fuel companies.

Proponents of these systems consider they can perform an crucial and various part in meeting world wide strength and weather aims.

Weather researchers, campaigners and environmental advocacy teams, nonetheless, have prolonged argued that carbon seize and storage technologies extend the world’s fossil gas dependency and distract from a considerably-wanted pivot to renewable possibilities.

Designs to increase shareholder dividends

Starace was speaking soon after Enel released a strategic strategy for 2022-24 and laid out its aims for the many years in advance. Among the other things, Enel will make immediate investments of 170 billion euros ($190.7 billion) by 2030.

Immediate investments in renewable electricity property that Enel will very own are set to hit 70 billion euros. Consolidated mounted renewable capacity, or ability that is immediately owned by Enel, is anticipated to access 129 gigawatts by 2030.

In addition, Enel, which is headquartered in Rome, explained it experienced introduced forward its internet-zero motivation — a intention which relates to both equally immediate and oblique emissions — to 2040, acquiring formerly been 2050.

On the fossil gasoline entrance, the group needs to exit coal generation by the year 2027, with its exit from gasoline era using put by 2040.

Enel also reported that, in between 2021 and 2024, shareholders were “expected to receive a mounted Dividend For each Share … that is planned to maximize by 13%, up to .43 euros/share.”

During his job interview with CNBC, Starace was questioned about Enel’s larger dividend forecast and the broader debate about how one could be invested in so-referred to as “sin shares” — in this occasion, major polluters within just the strength area — and nevertheless get fantastic returns, notably on the dividend facet of issues.

“It can be all about risk rewards,” he explained. “And at the end of the day, I don’t see anything erroneous with an increasingly dangerous business [being] … compelled to boost dividends if you want to appeal to buyers.”

“What we are trying to say is there is a breaking level, there is a issue in which the hazard turns into unbearable no matter what dividends you want to distribute, and that is approaching,” he mentioned.

“So in our situation, what you require to do is get out of this threat, get out of the carbon footprint and also make positive that when you place the word ‘net’ in front of zero, this ‘net’ doesn’t turn into some type of a trick close to which you do not decarbonize, definitely, your functions.”

“We’re expressing we’re going to be zero carbon, which implies we’re not likely to emit carbon and we will, for that reason [not] … want to plant trees to offset that carbon.”

Starace acknowledged, however, that trees would be demanded about the upcoming centuries to take away carbon still left in the atmosphere due to historic emissions.

—CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this article.