The FTSE 100 oil giant Shell has called for taxpayer subsidies to help it cut pollution by trapping carbon dioxide emissions underground.

Carbon capture and storage is seen by many as vital to meeting global pollution reduction targets. It involves “scrubbing” pollutants from factory and power station emissions, transporting the gas to special locations and storing it to avoid damage to the atmosphere.

The government is ploughing millions of pounds into getting the technology up and running by the mid-2020s, but the question of who pays to help combat climate change has proved controversial, with complaints over increases to electricity bills to subsidise renewable energy and pay for smart meters.

However, subsidies have proved effective. Renewables, such as wind and solar, provided an estimated 27.5%…