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Carbon storage: In YOUR backyard, says UK

Carbon storage: In YOUR backyard, says UK

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After canceling projects for the controversial technology at home, the UK's energy department announces funding for carbon capture and storage in emerging countries.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker at a gathering of 23 government energy bosses from around the world, including US Energy Secretary Steven Chu, this week in London.

The UK has had to cancel a number of carbon capture and storage projects, not least because the technology is controversial. Many critics say that it is expensive and destined to fail because CO2 captured and stored below ground or sea beds will eventually escape.

With such trouble at home, the government's Department of Energy and Climate Change is now looking further afield to help deploy the technology that it says can help reduce industrial CO2 emissions linked to global warming and climate change.

This week it announced a £60 million ($96 million) fund to support CCS in emerging countries. The money is part of the $200 million that the Carbon Capture, Use and Storage Action Group is trying to raise.

DECC Climate Change Minister Greg Barker noted in a press release,

“We recognise that it is important to ensure CCS is deployed in developing as well as developed countries. The funding that the UK has committed today will support the development of new partnerships and capacity building activities in emerging markets.”

Last October, the government cancelled a £1 billion ($1.6 billion) CCS project at the Longannet power station in Fife, Scotland, the latest in a series of cancellations.

Barker made his announcement this during a London gathering of 23 government energy bosses from around the world, including U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and UK Energy Secreatary Ed Davey (Barker's boss). Chu and Davey chaired the confab, called the Clean Energy Ministerial.

Barry Jones, general manager of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, said in the press release,

"The provision of new finance to support the efforts of developing countries to deploy CCS was a key recommendation from the 2011 Clean Energy Ministerial. The Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute welcomes the UK government's commitment to address this need and calls on the governments of other developed nations to consider how best to support this important initiative."

In addition the U.S. and UK, the other countries or regions were: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.

Photo from DECC via Flickr.

Other ministrations from this week's international Clean Energy gathering in London:

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Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure