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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

27 September 2005

International report on technological opportunities to reduce greenhouse gases


An international report on carbon dioxide capture and storage technologies was today welcomed by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.

Senator Campbell said that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage provided the first summary of the global state of knowledge on carbon capture and storage, also known as geological sequestration.

Carbon capture and storage involves collecting carbon dioxide as it is produced, such as from burning fossil fuels during energy production, transporting and storing it so that it cannot interact with the atmosphere and worsen the greenhouse effect. For example, carbon dioxide could be stored almost permanently in geological formations such as depleted oil and gas fields.

“Achieving large-scale global reductions in greenhouse gases will not be an easy task. The global community will need to take advantage of every opportunity to cut greenhouse gases – and carbon dioxide capture and storage is an important and potentially significant abatement option,” Senator Campbell said.

“The report provides a snapshot of the status of the technology, drawing out the current knowledge about opportunities, challenges and risks. Although it’s only early days with experience of this new technology, the report recognises the major potential of carbon capture and storage to reduce emissions.

“Tackling climate change requires action on a number of fronts – within our homes, and in businesses and industry. While we’re making headway now, new ideas and new technologies will lead to bigger and better options for greater greenhouse gas reductions in the future.

“Clear, objective scientific statements such as this report give us a better chance to coordinate the concerted and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

“The Australian Government has taken a strong lead in the development and encouragement of low emissions technologies including the $500 million Low Emission Technology Demonstration Fund. And, through the recently announced Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate we’ll be able to share our successes.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an international panel that provides advice on climate change science to the international community. Its report summarises the current status of carbon capture and storage technologies, particularly for government policymakers.

Further information about the report is at: www.ipcc.ch/activity/sprep.htm

Media Contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Minister Campbell) (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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