Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today announced the formation of an international initiative to facilitate collaborative testing of advanced carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies at real-world, saline storage sites.

The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum’s (CSLF) Large-Scale Saline Storage Project Network will form a global network of large-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) injection sites that can share best practices, operational experience, and key lessons to advance the deployment of CCS.

The CSLF is a Minister-level international climate change initiative focused on developing and deploying CCS technologies globally.  There are currently more than 20 large CCS projects in operation or under construction around the world.

Secretary Moniz’s announcement followed a meeting of energy ministers at the 6th CSLF Ministerial Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  The U.S. and Saudi Arabia co-chaired this year’s meeting.

Secretary Moniz noted that the new collaboration builds on the success of the CO2 Capture Test Center Network, chaired by Norway since 2013.  The U.S. will take the lead on the capture center initiative next year.

At the same time, the Secretary lauded the Shell Quest commercial CCS project, which is getting underway in Alberta, Canada, and represents a first step in the new collaborative saline storage effort.   The Quest project will capture and safely store more than one million tonnes of CO2 each year in a saline formation.  The Department of Energy plans to collaborate with Shell on field testing of advanced CO2 storage monitoring technologies deployed at Quest.

Secretary Moniz’s announcement capped a productive meeting of the CSLF, during which Romania and Serbia were welcomed as the newest members of the multinational organization.

This year’s meeting provided a platform for senior-level dialogue on CCS ahead of next month’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.  In a communique issued today, the ministers underscored the importance of CCS to global climate change mitigation efforts.  They noted that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report acknowledged that without CCS the costs of climate change mitigation would increase by 138 percent.  That report also concluded and without CCS, limiting the global rise in temperature to less than 2°C may not be possible.

At the end of the day-long conference, ministers stressed their support for increasing the number of new large CCS demonstration projects by 2020.  They also called for the development of the next generation technology for full-scale demonstration in the 2020s.  In the meantime, the ministers committed to pushing for policies that support CCS alongside other clean energy technologies.

The CSLF was formed in 2003, and is the world’s only Minister-level multinational forum for CCS.  Chairing the organization’s Policy Group, the Energy Department plays a key leadership role in the organization.  With the addition of Romania and Serbia, the CSLF is currently comprised of 24 member nations and the European Commission.

This article originally appeared on, the website of the U.S. Department of Energy