The most plausible argument put forward by opponents of immediate action to mitigate global warming is that some technology will emerge to obviate any need for costly changes in our current way of doing things. The leading candidate has been "carbon capture and storage" (CCS), in which the carbon dioxide produced by coal-fired power stations would be captured before being emitted into the atmosphere, then pumped into underground storage, or captured through "biosequestration" into products such as biochar.

But the only version of CCS that is remotely commercial arises when CO2 is pumped into exhausted oil wells to enhance secondary recovery. However, this works best with a pure source of CO2 such as a natural gas project rather than the messy mixes of gases that emerges from a coal-fired boiler.