Within the context of the Paris Agreement, Equinor has set four climate goals committing to long-term value creation. First, to become net-zero by 2050. Second, to reduce emissions from oil and gas operations. Third, to increase renewable energy growth. Finally, to reduce net carbon intensity to zero by 2050. Equinor asked the Columbia Capstone team to analyze how carbon sinks can be used to offset emissions from Equinor’s operations and products as part of their 2050 net-zero goal.
The final product was a short-term and long-term strategy for Equinor to pursue, as well as recommendations on the types of solutions that they should use. In addition, the team prepared a model to estimate the price of the portfolio of offsets and the optimal portfolio composition between now and 2050. The analysis recommended Equinor focus on carbon removal technologies for its offset portfolio. As scrutiny increases over the quality of offsets used by companies to achieve their climate targets, Equinor should lead the oil and gas industry by investing in technology-based solutions that are additional, verifiable, and permanent. In this context, Direct Air Capture with Carbon Storage is the best option in the long term. Biomass Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage is also promising if issues surrounding food, water, and land are resolved.