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Marcus Evans

Carbon Capture and Storage Management

Start Date:25 Sep 11 End Date:26 Sep 11

Meeting the world's growing demand for affordable, secure and convenient energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions – particularly carbon dioxide – is the main challenge facing our world today. The Middle East accounts for approximately 5–6% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Carbon dioxide is widely accepted to be a major contributor to global climate change. Our increasing demand for energy, combined with the current dependency on fossil fuels, means that greenhouse gas emissions are likely to increase by as much as 55% by 2030 unless new climate changed mitigation policies are introduced.

To move to a lower carbon economy, we need to implement technologies which offer significant mitigation potential as part of a broader, integrated carbon management strategy.

Although all of Middle East is non-Annex 1 (Annex 1 = industrialised countries and economies in transition – committed to reduce their emission levels of greenhouse gasses), their voluntary work to reduce carbon emissions is incredible. Seeing that they are one of the highest contributors of carbon dioxide through their prime industries (oil and gas, petrochemicals and construction), the governments in each country of the region has set up necessary task force (government as well as private sectors) to look into the issue seriously.

Carbon management, which involved the mitigation of carbon emissions, is rapidly becoming an established global industry – and GCC nations are well-positioned to play a leading role, due to the strong integration of carbon dioxide into their oil and gas industries.

In Abu Dhabi, Masdar City is the world's first carbon-neutral city, powered completely by renewable energy. By 2016, Masdar will be what is billed as world's most ambitious green business project – a zero-emission city. Organisations have Masdar as the pioneer and want to move towards zero carbon emission being produced.

During the second week of negotiations at the Cancun Conference, delegates made progress regarding the designation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects as applicable for funding under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Under the CDM, developed countries may gain emissions reduction credit by undertaking environmentally sound projects in developing countries.

At Cancun, the United Nations approved CCS projects as means of carbon offsetting for firms in developed countries. A decision on integrating CCS into the CDM largely has been postponed since 2005, because of the voting options regarding it have generally been phrased as ‘yes or no’ questions. At the 2010 Cancun conference, however, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice has approved options for integrating CCS.

The major proponents of integrating CCS into the CDM are Norway, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. These countries argue that doing so will "allow countries to keep using fossil fuel while ensuring greenhouse gases aren’t spewed into the atmosphere". Saudi Arabia and its OPEC allies have stated that the Cancun conference "should not produce an accord that works against traditional energy sources". CCS, they argue, will allow traditional energy sources to operate without sharp cost increases or efficiency decreases, while still avoiding the release of emissions.

This event takes place in Doha. Contact Bernardine for a 10% discount or for more information.

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