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EU urges gas partner Russia to back carbon capture
Date:30 Apr 2012
The European Commission, which has begun talks with the EU's biggest natural gas supplier Russia on cementing energy ties until 2050, said both sides had to work on burying carbon emissions or gas would have only a short future as a fuel. Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told an EU-Russia conference in Brussels that, for the 27-member bloc to continue using gas beyond around 2030-2035, it needed carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to limit greenhouse gas emissions. CCS captures climate-warming emissions from power plants and stores the carbon underground, for example in depleted natural gas fields under the sea. But the technology is commercially unproven and costly to build. "Unfortunately, progress within the EU is very slow. I am also not aware of major activities in the Russian Federation on this issue. We have a joint interest to start working on this issue and develop joint activities," Oettinger said. Together with Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko, the Commission has agreed to work on an "EU-Russia 2050 road map", Oettinger said, to guide ties between the European Union and its biggest gas supplier.