News overview

Journalists and young researchers visit natural CO2 resources

19 July 2011

In May, some ten Dutch journalists, thirty young CATO researchers and one excellent guide travelled through the German volcanic Eifel to learn about natural CO2 sources. Besides the interesting topic ‘CO2 from geological origin', exchanging knowledge about CATO issues among researchers and with journalists was the main dish of this excursion.


Obviously a lot was learned of the geology of the Eifel, and for those new in the field it was a good introduction to geology in general. In the media several large articles were published in newspapers like Trouw, Volkskrant and NRC.

Open communication

Following this trip journalists especially point out in their articles that the CATO programme has slightly changed directions after the hectic discussions about CO2 storage in Barendrecht or in the northern Netherlands. The articles also showed CATO does not want to be an advocate of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) telling that CCS has no risks. Instead, CATO's researchers want to be critical and aim to contribute to effective climate mitigation strategies. The message CATO conveyed was: "CO2 is what it is, people can indeed suffocate from CO2. On the other hand, the Eifel vents around 0.8 million tonnes of CO2 per year into the air. Tourists pay for visiting a cold water geyser producing CO2 and water."

Other than the CO2 in Dutch gas fields (sometimes up to 75%) which is of fossil origin, the Eifel's CO2 comes from volcanic activity in the earth's crust. Jan Brouwer, CATO programme director: "The Eifel obviously is not a good place to store CO2. The situation in the Netherlands is quite different. The Eifel shows, however, that you should take any CO2 safety issues seriously; which of course CATO does."

However critical journalists still were on CCS in general, they especially liked the open communication by the CATO community. "And it also worked the other way around: the researchers liked communicating with the journalists," says Sander van Egmond (photo), communication manager of CATO. "The excursion definitely reduced the distance between researchers and journalists, which will hopefully lead to some more mutual trust in the future."


This message is part of the CATO-2 Newsletter June 2011. The complete newsletter can be found here.

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19 July 2011

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