May 26, 2009

U.S. and Italy sign carbon capture pact

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Italian Minister of Economic Development Claudio Scajola have signed a carbon capture and storage agreement.

The bilateral agreement, signed Saturday in Rome, is designed to advance carbon capture and storage technologies in each country, officials said.

Working together, the United States and Italy will further the development of technologies needed to limit carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired powered plants and move toward a sustainable low carbon economy that addresses the challenge of global warming, the Energy Department said in a statement.

To prevent the worst effects of climate change, we must accelerate our efforts to capture and store carbon in a safe and cost-effective way, said Chu. This agreement between the Department of Energy and Italy's Ministry of Economic Development will play an important role in advancing the development and commercial deployment of (carbon capture and storage) technologies in the years ahead.

Chu and Scajola met on the sidelines of the Group of 8 Energy Ministers' Meeting in Rome.

Under the agreement, Italy and the United States will cooperate on a wide variety of projects and issue areas, including power generation processes, advanced coal gasification technologies, power system simulations, characterizing subsurface carbon sequestration potential and exchanging researchers, Energy Department officials said.