Progress made on support for CCS projects

ABU DHABI — The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) made important progress towards allowing support for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) at a technical workshop hosted in Abu Dhabi by the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

By (Staff Report)

Published: Tue 13 Sep 2011, 11:46 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:06 AM

Ninety one delegates from 33 countries and an array of expert organisations attended the workshop, titled “Technical workshop on modalities and procedures for CCS in geological formations as CDM project activities”. The UAE was represented by the Directorate of Energy and Climate Change within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with expert support from ADNOC, Masdar and the Masdar Institute.

“CCS is not the whole solution to climate change, but it has an important role to play as part of a balanced and diversified portfolio,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, while opening the meeting. “The CDM can be one effective way of pushing this forward.” A wide range of presentations gave delegates a picture of the “state of the art” in managing CCS projects. These included technologies for monitoring the sites, experience from managing projects in different geological conditions, as well as legal and regulatory regimes. There were also presentations from important stakeholder groups including industry representatives and environmental NGOs.

Two of these presentations drew on the UAE’s expertise. Bader Al Lamki, Director of Masdar Carbon, presented the views of the UAE on including CCS in the CDM, which were formally submitted to the UNFCCC earlier this year. Professor Mohamed Sassi of the Masdar Institute presented a proposal of a joint CO2 storage collaboration research work between ADCO, MASDAR Institute, Petroleum Institute, MIT & Stanford University as an input into the joint CCS development work of Masdar and ADNOC. Discussion among delegates, drawing on this expert input, led to some options on ways to ensure good site selection, implement monitoring systems, establish liability for the integrity of the project, and other important factors.

The UNFCCC Secretariat is preparing these options in a negotiating text for consideration by Parties in Durban.

Initiated two decades ago, the UNFCCC sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenges posed by climate change, recognizing that the climate system is a shared resource whose stability can be affected by emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from all nations. At the Sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP16) meeting in Cancun in 2010, countries provisionally approved (CCS) — a means of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and storing them so they do not enter the atmosphere and contribute to global warming — as an eligible activity under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The CDM helps finance emission-cutting projects in developing countries, by providing credits in exchange for reductions in global warming gases. —

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