Saturday, November 7, 2009

Developing Carbon Capture Technology

AEP's Conesville, Ohio, coal plant. Photo by Peter Essick, National Geographic.

Three organizations, the Asia Society, the Center for American Progress, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, are putting out two separate reports this month that urge the US and China to put more money into projects in China that can better develop the technology of carbon capture and sequestration. The process captures carbon dioxide emissions from industrial and power plants before they enter the atmosphere and stores them underground, usually in geological formations.

An NRDC study starts by saying that "To avoid the worst consequences of global warming, the world must limit average temperature increases to less than two degrees Celsius or less by reducing carbon emissions at least 50% below 1990 levels by the year 2050."

The Asia Society study points out that "it is increasingly evident that maintaining the current trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions poses wide-ranging and potentially catastrophic risks to natural systems and human welfare . it is also clear that an unprecedented level of global cooperation will be necessary to successfully confront the immense challenge of reversing the effects of climate change."

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