Press Briefing Remarks
Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum
CSLF Policy Group
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Office of Fossil Energy
U.S. Department of Energy
Cape Town, South Africa
April 16, 2008
Thank you Jeff: And thank you ladies and gentlemen of the South African press for joining us.
My purpose is to introduce you to the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum and its work.
But before we begin I want to recognize the Government of the Republic of South Africa for the generous support and plain hard work involved in hosting this week’s meetings.
No effort was spared in providing us with the setting or the support needed for a successful meeting.
In volunteering to do this, South Africa became a leader among leaders in what is a true global effort to deal with concerns about the greenhouse gas CO2 and the world’s requirement for energy and sustainable growth.
For this the Government, the Ministry of Minerals and Energy and all involved have the thanks of the Forum: The thanks of its official delegates, stakeholders and observers.
Specific recognition also is due my Policy Group Co-chair Jeff Kgobane; and South Africa’s Policy Delegate Sandile Tyatya, director of Clean Energy of the Department of Minerals and Energy; and those of the South African Organizinig Group who worked with them in making things go smoothly.
The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum is little known as yet.
But high authorities see the subject of our collaborative effort – carbon dioxide capture and storage – as indispensible in dealing with climate change and the world’s energy requirements.
The famous Fourth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – which won Nobel Prize recognition – calls CCS a pillar of greenhouse gas stabilization.
Last year the retired chairman of Shell told the Financial Times that it is the one technology we cannot do with out.
And last month Director Tanaka-san of the International Energy Agency said it is the most important technology in bringing about cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
Here’s what the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum is and what it is doing. The Forum is a multilateral initiative of 21 developed and emerging nations plus the
European Commission. We produce about 75 percent of the world’s CO2. Membership is voluntary. Decisions are by consensus. South Africa is one of the earliest members.
The Forum’s purpose is cooperation and collaboration to bring about international development, demonstration and deployment of carbon dioxide capture and storage. This means developing the technologies of low-cost capture and safe, long-term storage and sharing the knowledge. It means developing common principles that frame the standards, practices, regulations, statutes and pathways of technology transfer that will be required to enable the use of these technologies. Our focus is on electric power production and other industrial activity.
The Forum’s objective is to have in place by 2013 the foundations of technology and harmonized carbon management that will allow the subsequent initiation of cost-effective capture and safe, long-term storage on a worldwide basis.
The G8 Group of Nations has designated the Forum as a medium of cooperation among developed and emerging nations. It is recognized in G8’s Gleneagles Plan of Action on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development.
To date Forum members have adopted a strategic plan and technology development roadmap, and also taken up such fundamental questions as building the worldwide capacity and capability to practice CCS. We have recognized 19 demonstration projects and completed three.
Early tests are underway around the world on post-combustion CO2 capture and of geologic reservoirs suitable for storage. Scale-ups of capture and large-scale demonstrations of storage are far along in planning.
This week we began an important update of our roadmap for technology development that is meant to bridge the affordability gap in capture and storage for emerging economies such as South Africa’s.
We also started compilation of a lessons-learned report on building the capacity to engage in capture and storage that will facilitate the worldwide spread of CCS. It will make easier the transfer of knowledge, experience and technology to engineers, scientists and government policy-makers in developed and emerging nations alike.
In addition, we updated the strategic plan and extended formal recognition to a 20th demonstration project. It will focus on zero-emissions production of electricity and hydrogen from fossil fuels combined with carbon dioxide capture and storage.
And, finally, we continued our Task Force work on fundamental questions such as financial tools, risk management, regulation, legislation and achieving public acceptance.
In sum, we have responded to South Africa’s generous sponsorship with a very successful meeting here in Cape Town.
Not unlike a Cape-size tanker rounding the Cape of Good Hope with energy for the world, CSLF is now turning toward its port of call: Preparedness by 2013.
I’ll pass the baton now to Rachel Crisp and Trude Sundset. Thank you for your attention.