CSLF signals major shift in technologies for climate change
The British and American governments yesterday(Oct 13) hailed a 'major shift' in global attitudes towards the new technologies for capturing and storing carbon emissions that must be a key element of the deal on tackling climate change in Copenhagen.
At the end a meeting in London co-hosted by the British Government to look at storing emissions produced by coal-fired power stations, ministers from leading advanced and developing countries pledged to accelerate the process of turning the technology of carbon capture and storage (CCS) into a commercial reality.
Ministers for the 23 member countries of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) called for financial and technical assistance to help developing countries build CCS capacity.
The agreement was a major milestone on the path to the global climate change negotiations that begin in Copenhagen on 7 December. The CSLF, whose members represent more than 60% of the world’s population, urged the Major Economies Forum that meets in London on 18 October to accelerate the deployment of CCS globally.
UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: 'This is a significant moment as it shows the way the world is shifting on these key technologies. We are sending a very clear message to the Copenhagen process that we need a proper funding mechanism to make CCS happen and indeed I hope will build momentum towards a successful Copenhagen agreement.'
US Energy Secretary Stephen Chu echoed this, saying: 'I can see a major shift in that all countries now recognise that this is a universal problem ad we have to work together to solve it.'
Terje Riis-Johansen, the Norwegian Petroleum and Energy Secretary and co-host of the London meeting, said there would be no long-term solution to climate change without CCS. 'The reality is that the world will use coal, oil and gas in the future and we need to reduce emissions from those products,' he said. 'Carbon capture and storage is an important issue towards Copenhagen.'
Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, the South African Energy Minister and key a developing country voice, told ministers: 'We are able to invest in climate change initiatives only to a limited extent. We have competing needs and this is the situation for most developing countries, especially in Africa.'
The UK, which co-hosted the forum with Norway, was among the first countries to commit to a commercial scale demonstration of CCS and is determined to ensure it becomes an option for the biggest users of fossil fuels globally.
The CSLF earlier heard the International Energy Agency warn that governments and business must spend at least $2.5 trillion to build several thousand large-scale CCS by 2050.
Nobuo Tanaka, the head of the IEA, told ministers: 'We will need 100 large scale projects by 2020, 850 by 2030 and 3,400 in 2050.' He added that two-thirds of new facilities should be built outside the OECD group of advanced countries, which the IEA advises.
Ahead of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, this guide explains what CCS is, and why it's important for a global deal at Copenhagen