Wednesday, 18 July 2007

USA looks to new technology to reduce climate change

I know the accepted view of the USA’s efforts to reduce climate change is poor to say the least. And yes, I know it is pretty easy to take swipes at President Bush and his environmental policies, after all, he has steered the USA away from any global climate control treaties over the last few years. On the surface, it does look like President Bush is putting the US economy before the planet. Maybe there is truth in these perceptions, but, to give credit where it is due, the US Department of Energy (DOE) is spending money on research into new technologies that promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industrial processes.

One such area of research is CO2 sequestration. Nine specially selected projects have received a total of $24 million to develop technologies that will allow CO2 to be captured and safely removed from coal-fired power stations’ emissions. This is a fascinating area of research, and once the technology is fully developed, should make it easier for the USA to reduce its CO2 emissions without having to drastically change or impair their economic performance.

In combination with changes to the way people use energy, this kind of technology, if it comes online soon enough, can make a real difference to the growing problem of climate change. The beauty of this kind of approach is that it can be exported to big emitters like India and China and allow them the economic growth they need to sustain their populations whilst minimising their impact on global warming. Hopefully with enough research into ways of reducing CO2 emissions from existing processes and research into new energy sources, we may just beat global warming.

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