Countries should fly solo on CO2 targets: US

EACH member country of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) should go it alone on emission targets, US Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell said this week.
Countries should fly solo on CO2 targets: US Countries should fly solo on CO2 targets: US Countries should fly solo on CO2 targets: US Countries should fly solo on CO2 targets: US Countries should fly solo on CO2 targets: US

Delegates of the 8th APEC energy ministers meeting also heard the real challenge is not setting targets but developing the technology to achieve them.

A strong economy is the key factor in tackling climate change, Sell told the briefing. Without it countries will be unable to deploy the technologies needed to reduce emissions.

“Each country must make that decision, in how we do that. How do we keep our economy strong, how do we deploy the technologies to reduce the emissions?” Sell said.

“Different approaches will naturally suit different countries, one better than the other,” and therefore “each country must set its own path.”

Australian Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane also talked up the technology track, a focus that has been at the core of the AP6 alliance, the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate launched in January 2006.

“This is not an easy solution and nor is it a cheap solution,” he told the meeting.

“There will be a lot of money spent trying to prove up a lot of technologies, some of which will never make it to commercial reality, others of which will be the cornerstone of our future reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”

He also said there would be around US$6 trillion ($7 trillion) worth of global investment in the energy sector to 2030, predominantly by private investors.

While Macfarlane did not single out any specific technologies, Sell said the principal technology being developed in the US was called Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC). A gas turbine is driven by combusted syngas from the gasifier, while the exhaust gases are then heat exchanged with water or steam to produce superheated steam to drive a steam turbine.

Sell said as the technology becomes commercially viable the APEC economies will see a wider application, but he would not put a timeframe on it.

“Until those technologies are commercially viable, I think it is premature to set hard deployment targets,” he said.