Press Briefing Remarks

Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum

Thomas Shope


CSLF Policy Group

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Office of Fossil Energy U.S. Department of Energy

Paris, France

March 28, 2007

Thank you Chairman Appert for your introduction: And thank you ladies and gentlemen of the press for joining us.

Before I say anything about the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, I should first recognize the enormous effort involved in acting as the host nation for a three-day meeting such as the one we will conclude in Paris today.

On behalf of the Forum’s two operating committees, I want to publicly thank Bernard Frois; his colleagues on the French National Organizing Committee; you Mr. Chairman, and the Institute; and the Government of France for the human energy expended and the hospitalities extended.

You have spared no effort or expense in giving us the setting and the support required for a successful meeting.

In volunteering for this formidable task you have placed France in the vanguard of a worldwide effort to come to practical and constructive terms with rising concern about the greenhouse gas CO2 and a rising requirement for secure energy.

The Forum’s membership appreciates your efforts and – especially – your gracious hospitality.

You have set a high standard for future meetings.

The international Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum is not yet as well known to the public or the press as some other groups involved in the world’s discussions of greenhouse gases.

And so, I’d like to begin by offering you some on the Forum, its purposes and its activities.

After that, I’ll turn to Vice Chairman John Hartwell, of Australia, vice-chairman and Technical Committee Chair Trude Sundset, of Norway, for their thoughts on our meeting. When they have spoken we’ll take questions as a group. Please hold your questions until then.

The Forum brings together nations in every stage of development in seeking practical and constructive ways of dealing with concerns about the greenhouse gas CO2.

It is a worldwide marshalling of resources based on cooperation, collaboration and consensus. It is a gathering up of talent, of ideas and of technical knowledge. It’s seeks ways of controlling emissions from power plants and the other large industrial sources that produce about 60% of humankind’s CO2.

Membership is comprised of 21 developed and developing nations plus the European Commission. We represent approximately 75% of the world’s COand slightly more of its economic activity. Our decisions are by consensus and are non-binding on individual member nations.

The CSLF is recognized in programs of the G8 Nations’ Gleneagles Plan of Action on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development; and it engages in greenhouse gas activity with the International Energy Agency.

Our charter charges us with developing and demonstrating a range of technologies for capture and storage. We have formally recognized seventeen demonstrations around the world. Two of them seek to identify possible geologic storage sites in the key developing nations of China and India, who are Forum members. We probably will add two more demonstrations later today to bring the total to nineteen.

We are dedicated to ensuring that the technologies and institutional practices developed for CCS provide for storage which is properly managed, safe and permanent. And, finally, are charged with initiating and fostering the widening practice of carbon dioxide capture and storage around the world.

The signs say CCS is an idea whose time is coming on – rapidly coming on.

Not long ago CCS was the subject of a special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change whose findings included these:

• First, CCS can achieve up to 55% of the CO2 reductions needed to achieve atmospheric stabilization in this century;

• Next, CCS will be almost one-third less expensive than the alternatives.

• And, finally, it is the key if greenhouse gases are to be successfully controlled in this century.

Today in Europe the Commission has set ambitious new targets for the post-2012 era; the trade press reports there is a formal consultation underway on CCS along with discussion of as many as 12 industrial-scale capture demonstrations in the next seven years.

Meanwhile, the U.K. is committing to a breath-taking 60% reduction.

Today in the United States there are four climate-change bills pending in Congress: And the total may have reached five by now. All want reductions in CO2. One bill seeks reductions of 80%.

Reductions like these will demand CCS.

Meanwhile, one of our major electric utilities this month announced that it will begin pioneer capture and sequestration operations next year at validation scale at a power plant in West Virginia.

Greenhouse gases and technical innovation will be high on the agenda for the G8 meeting this summer.

As the G8 Chairman Ms. Merkel told the Financial Times newspaper earlier this month: “We will not achieve our targets with today’s technologies.”

The G8 action plan on climate and energy security takes cognizance of another important fact: Atmospheric CO2 cannot be stabilized in this century unless key developing nations take part in the effort.

Many signs say CCS is an idea whose time is coming on. The Forum’s responsibility is to be sure CCS is ready when the time comes.

The theme for our Paris meeting has been Overcoming Barriers to Deployment.

On Monday we heard from Claude Mandil, the executive director of the International Energy Agency. He was one of our opening day keynote speakers and took part in a panel discussion.

A specific goal for this meeting has been to expand direct stakeholder participation as far as possible on the part of private industry, public-interest groups such as environmental NGOs and other interested parties.

Stakeholders will determine the ultimate success or failure of CCS – not the actions and requirements of governments. They will be the critical factors in the deployment of CCS and in achieving public acceptance of CCS as a way to begin the steady elimination of CO2.

I believe we have been successful in this effort.

I’ll leave additional comment on our meeting and the Forum’s progress on specific business to my colleagues.

John Hartwell, the floor is yours.