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A Roadmap for U.S.-China Collaboration on Carbon Capture and Sequestration

By Orville Schell | Asia Society | November 4, 2009

A successful U.S.-China program of collaboration must be built on mutual respect and recognition of both countries' expertise and incentives. But it must also lay the track for substantial emissions abatement and be able to evolve and grow over time. While the general purpose of this roadmap is to help bring about a new partnership between the United States and China, the immediate aim is to catalyze U.S. leadership by sketching out a concrete, collaborative new plan of action on CCS that the United States government could consider adopting as it confronts the twin challenges of remedying climate change and strengthening U.S.-China relations. This roadmap is also intended to complement, and not substitute, other ongoing bilateral and multilateral collaborations on CCS that China has with other countries. By working in parallel, the hope is that the collective efforts will yield lessons that help accelerate CCS deployment globally.

The three-prong program below outlines a process that can start immediately to produce early milestones while working toward the longer-term goals of retrofitting existing plants and developing critical new financing structures.

1. Sequestration of available pure streams of CO2
  • Rapidly implement demonstrations of geological carbon sequestration for existing low-cost, pure streams of CO2 in China.
2. Retrofit research, development, and deployment
  • Spearhead a major new collaborative research and development project on both the capture and the sequestration aspects of CO2 produced by conventional coal-fired plants in both the United States and China.
  • Identify potential large-scale pulverized coal combustion projects that are ready for retrofits in China and the United States.
  • Outline a strategy to begin retrofitting plants in both countries, while at the same time continuing to find comprehensive ways to lower costs, improve effectiveness, and advance scale-up.
3. Catalyze markets for CCS
  • Establish mechanisms to guarantee that companies that store carbon now will be paid a certain amount per ton at a point in the future, either by the private market for carbon or by the government in the event that market has not developed sufficiently.

The central elements of this roadmap help address many of the concerns and hurdles that have impeded the use of CCS as a meaningful technological answer to a crucial climate change challenge.

Download: A Roadmap for U.S.-China Collaboration on Carbon Capture and Sequestration (PDF, 1.13 M)

External Link: Initiative for U.S.-China Cooperation on Energy and Climate

Read More: Business, Economy, Energy, Environment, Security, Technology, China, United States, Americas, Asia, Global

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