Wednesday 21 December 2005 12:31 Via Department for Environment, Food And Rural Affairs of UK
Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett today welcomed a UK/China landmark agreement on the development of clean coal technology with carbon dioxide capture and storage, which aims to reduce significantly the climate change impact from coal-fired electricity generation.
The project aims to demonstrate coal-fired power generation with carbon capture and storage technology in both China and the EU by 2020. It comes at a time when estimates show that carbon dioxide emissions from China's increasing coal use are growing rapidly.
The UK is leading the first phase of the demonstration project with £3.5m of funding from Defra and DTI. The three-year feasibility study will examine the viability of different technology options for the capture of carbon dioxide emissions from power generation for geological storage in China.
Commenting on the announcement, Mrs Beckett said:
"The agreement demonstrates that the UK and China are working together on action to combat the global challenge of climate change. This agreement strengthens the work that the UK has been doing with China on climate change both directly and through the EU, and is another example of the excellent progress made this year through our G8 and EU presidencies.
"Carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power generation are growing rapidly and represent a serious challenge to the long-term stability of the climate. Carbon capture and storage technology have a key role to play in abating this impact and I strongly welcome today's agreement."
Chief Scientific Adviser Sir David King formally signed the agreement in Beijing with Minister Xu Guangha, from the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, which signals the start of the first phase of the near Zero Emissions Coal (nZEC) project.
Sir David said: "I am delighted to have been able to sign this important agreement, which marks a new level of international cooperation in the practical demonstration of what I believe to be a critical technology in meeting the challenge of climate change."