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Government»US Green Guru Hails Clean Coal

»Friday, October 16,2009

Environmentalists have said that coal deposits must be "left in the ground" rather than burned in order to prevent catastrophic climate change.


However countries like India and China continue to burn the fossil fuel because it is cheap.

Professor Chu, the US Energy Secretary, said there was an urgent need to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to take the carbon dioxide produced from burning coal and store it underground.

"The reason we're saying it has to be part of the solution is that it's part of the lowest-cost solution," he said.

"Energy efficiency is the lowest-cost solution, but CCS is not far behind."

A meeting in London of ministers from around the world, including China, agreed 20 industrial-scale CCS demonstration plants will be needed by 2010 to get the technology off the ground.

An analysis from the International Energy Agency suggested 100 projects which capture carbon and store it underground are needed by 2020, and 3,000 are needed by mid-century, covering coal-fired power stations as well as energy-intensive industries such as cement, iron and steel.

Ed Miliband, the UK Energy Secretary, said rich and poor countries must share developments in the new technology.

He also called for funding to be made available to develop CCS in poorer countries as part of any UN deal on climate change to be agreed in Copenhagen in December.

"I think it sends a very strong signal - if you want to deliver on climate change and cleaning up coal you need an outcome that incentivises this.

"Unless you can incentivise key technologies like CCS, then targets are all very well but you're not going to achieve the low carbon path that you need."

However Jim Footner, Senior Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace, said the world will have to do more than develop CCS to stop catastrophic climate change.

"No one technology is going to solve climate change if we don't have a global deal to limit carbon emissions," he said. "We need to see President Obama leading that discussion for an international deal."





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