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EU to Help China Tackle Greenhouse Gas

The European Union agreed on Monday to give China the technology for a coal-fired power station designed to combat global warming as part of a wider accord on energy issues and climate change.


The clean coal-power plant will employ carbon capture and storage technology through which the coal plant can capture its own emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2), burying them in porous rock underground for long-term storage.


The offer, announced at an EU-China summit, comes as developed nations seek to engage emerging market powerhouses like China and India in global moves to stem climate change.


Industrialized countries fear that efforts to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions will be undermined by rising emissions from developing countries.


The agreement "will include cooperation on the development, deployment and transfer of low carbon technology, including advanced near-zero-emissions coal technology through carbon capture and storage," read a joint EU-China statement.


British Prime Minister Tony Blair, at the summit in Beijing because his country holds the rotating EU presidency, has made climate change a priority for this year, when London also presides over the Group of Eight rich nations.


Blair said China would participate in a "dialogue" between countries on climate change. Blair will also seek to engage India in the global warming debate at an EU-India summit in New Delhi on Wednesday.


Environmental group WWF hailed the agreement.


"It is a very welcome signal that both China and the EU recognize climate change as a key geopolitical issue and are ready to take concrete action to reduce its threats," said Jennifer Morgan, Director of the global WWF Climate Change Program, in a statement.


"Unlike the recent Asia-Pacific Pact with the United States and other countries, this agreement includes policies, markets and technologies, which should lead to real and significant action."


Some activists say the six-nation Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, which was announced in July, had hazy targets and could be a distraction attempt ahead of UN talks in November that will focus on widening the environmental agreement known as the Kyoto Protocol past 2012.


Coal is China's main energy source, satisfying 75 percent of the country's energy needs, said Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao at the summit.


An EU-China partnership on climate change was set up at the summit that will lead to cooperation on technology and ongoing discussions on tackling global warming, the statement said.


(China Daily September 6, 2005)



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