China and the EU will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on near-zero emissions coal technology next week, the European Commission (EC) announced in Brussels on Sunday.
The pact will be signed by EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Ma Songde, China's vice minister for Science and Technology during Piebalgs' visit to China next week.
The MOU builds upon and strengthens work on these programs or initiatives such as the Action Plans on clean coal technologies, energy efficiency and renewable energy, the EU-China Dialogue on Energy and Transport Strategies, the Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement and the EU-China Energy and Environment Program, according to the EC.
The MOU will encourage the development of technology allowing the capture and underground storage of carbon dioxide emitted from coal-fired power stations -- an issue of potential significance in the fight against climate change.
"Energy is one of the EU's foremost concerns and I am glad to have this opportunity to discuss the way ahead with my Chinese counterparts," said Commissioner Piebalgs, who will also attend the 6th EU-China Energy Conference in Shanghai.
"This new agreement on zero emission power generation is another example of the developing partnership between the EU and China in science and research," EU Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik was quoted as saying in an EC press release. .
Carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power generation are growing rapidly and present a serious challenge to the long-term stability of the climate.
During the EU-China summit last year, both China and the EU pledged to work together to meet the challenges of energy security, increased pressure on global energy resources and climate change.
China and the EU are also strengthening their scientific links. There are more than 100 joint research projects being carried out by Chinese and European teams. China is also a partner in the Galileo satellite system and the ITER fusion project.
(Xinhua News Agency February 20, 2006)