WASHINGTON, DC - Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky announced today that the United States is taking the lead in forming an ambitious new international effort to advance carbon capture and storage technology as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The two Departments outlined plans for creating the "Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum" which will bring together ministerial-level representatives to discuss the growing body of scientific research and emerging technologies for permanently isolating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Leaders from participating nations are scheduled to hold the Forum's inaugural meeting in Northern Virginia in June.
The Forum could also provide an international venue for planning future, multilateral carbon sequestration projects, including the new FutureGen project also announced today by Energy Secretary Abraham. (Read more about FutureGen.)
"International cooperation is an important component of President Bush's climate change policy, and these initiatives offer a way to mobilize the global community, including governments and the private sector," said Under Secretary Dobriansky.
"The Forum is designed to build upon the leadership this Administration has demonstrated in climate change science and technology. Our vision is based on the belief that scientific and technological advances will help enhance our ability to meet our energy needs while reducing the environmental impact," added Under Secretary Dobriansky.
Secretary Abraham said the United States will use the opening meeting of the Forum to invite other nations to join the FutureGen initiative.
"We have made remarkable progress in the last few years in understanding the science of carbon capture and storage and in conducting projects that apply our knowledge in real-life applications," Secretary Abraham said. "Research, however, is still in its infancy and because sequestration will likely be essential in limiting global carbon emissions, we need a global effort that will marshal the talents and resources available from around the world. The Forum is a first step to achieve this."
Carbon sequestration is a rapidly advancing area of study that has been singled out by President Bush as one of the most promising approaches for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It encompasses a variety of new methods for capturing carbon dioxide from the energy plant exhaust or extracting it directly from the atmosphere, then permanently isolating it.