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. New Techs Ideas Can Help In Bid Counter Global Warming

The technique consists of capturing carbon gas emissions from power companies and injecting them in porous sediments beneath the ocean bottom where they can remain "sequestered" for thousands of years.
by Jean-Louis Doublet
Washington (AFP) Mar 07, 2006
New industrial technologies and novel financial ideas can help the fight against global warming by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, according to scientists and climate experts gathered here by the World Bank. Among new technologies, "carbon capture and sequestration" made more converts, and trading in carbon emissions rights on financial markets got an encouraging boost.

Some scientists proposed a new concept of bringing together all the different methods of cutting greenhouse gases so that important progress made in each individual sector can contribute to worldwide climate stabilization.

"Do we have to wait for new technologies or do we have the technlogies today to address climate change?" World Bank Chief Scientist and Senior Advisor Robert Watson asked on opening the energy conference here Monday.

The United States, which has refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol on global greenhouse gas emissions, put much stock in new technologies to cut heat-trapping pollution.

But the Kyoto signataries are skeptical that technology alone can do the trick as they go ahead with their commitment to slash total greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 to five percent below the level they were in 1990.

"Countries that have decided to go down the road of technologies must have the responsability to tell the world if it is working or not," Netherlands Minister for Development Cooperation Agnes Van Ardenne told the meeting.

Carbon capture and sequestration was showcased as a promising technology by Robert Socolow, a Princeton University energy and environment expert. Tests run in Norway and Algeria were promising, he said, and BP was about to announce a major carbon capture project in California.

The technique consists of capturing carbon gas emissions from power companies and injecting them in porous sediments beneath the ocean bottom where they can remain "sequestered" for thousands of years.

It is part of Socolow's theory of "stabilization wedges," which takes its name from the triangular-shaped metal used to break wood into smaller pieces. It defines sectors where the biggest efforts should be made to make a difference in the fight against global warming.

Published in Science Magazine in August 2004, Socolow's theory aims at solving global climate problems in 50 years by using existing technologies.

The wedges are the development of renewable sources of energy in 15 sectors including, new propulsion systems for vehicles, carbon sequestration, nuclear energy, biomass and the environment.

According to Socolow, if significant progress is made in seven of the 15 sectors, worldwide carbon dioxide levels in 2055 can be the same as in 2005.

In the financial world, the development of markets for trading in pollution rights is increasingly being used as an environmental policy tool for pollution control.

Currently installed in Chicago, Illinois, London and soon in Canada, the pollution rights market allows firms and investors to trade the right to emit specific pollutants the same as stocks. The tonne of carbon at present is valued at around 100 dollars.

European governments, which have signed the Kyoto Protocol, are more active on the pollution rights markets than the United States.

But several US companies such as Ford, International Paper, IBM, American Electric Power, as well as cities and state governments such as New Mexico have also begun trading on the new markets.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
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Worlds Poor Can Have Energy Without More Global Warming
Washington (AFP) Mar 06, 2006
Meeting the desperate need for energy of the world's poorest countries does not have to contribute to global warming, experts said Monday at a conference sponsored by the World Bank. In a speech to the conference, Bank president Paul Wolfowitz bemoaned the fact that "1.6 billion people still have no access to the electricity grid".

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