UN Approves CO2 Capture for Emissions Market in ‘Great Success’
United Nations envoys approved carbon capture and storage projects in the developing world as eligible for greenhouse-gas offsets, a “great success” for climate protection, said Nobuo Tanaka, executive director for the International Energy Agency.
“If that is accepted, it is a great success,” Tanaka said in an interview in Cancun prior to the final endorsement by UN envoys early today. The Clean Development Mechanism is the world’s second-biggest carbon market by trading volume after the European Union greenhouse-gas program.
The world needs about 3,400 carbon-capture and storage projects by 2050, up from five now, and approving the technology under the CDM was a “litmus test” for this month’s climate talks in Cancun, Tanaka said Dec. 6 at a briefing in the Mexican resort city. The talks ended today.
Countries “decided that carbon capture and storage in geological formations is eligible as project activities under the CDM, provided issues, such as permanence, boundaries and safety, are addressed and resolved,” the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change said today in an emailed statement.
Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is an experimental technology. It would siphon off carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and factories and pump the gas underground for permanent storage. CO2 emissions are blamed for damaging the atmosphere. Decisions about whether to include the technology in the CDM had been delayed for at least two years because of questions about whether it will work and whether it’s suitable for developing countries.
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