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Japan Aims for Breakthrough on Carbon Gas Storage
  Japan

Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Source: GUARDIAN
Article Type: Cited

Japan plans to capture a sixth of its carbon dioxide pollution and store the gas underground in a bid to tackle climate change, according to a report on June 26. The proposals would see Japan bury some 200m tonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2020, a huge increase on the scale of existing schemes, the largest of which store about 1m tonnes annually.

Masahiro Nishio, an official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, told the Associated Press that underground storage could begin as soon as 2010. But several hurdles remain, he admitted. The technology is expensive, costing up to 6,000 yen (£30) a tonne of stored carbon dioxide. The new initiative aimed to halve that cost by 2020, Mr Nishio said. "It's very expensive, so we have much to study."

Capture and storage of carbon dioxide has become a key technology in recent years as industrialized nations battle to control their greenhouse gas emissions. Japan, the world's second largest economy, expels 1.3bn tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, making it one of the world's top offenders. The technology is also seen as the only realistic way to allow developing nations including China and India to burn their abundant stocks of coal without provoking runaway global warming. That would require so-called "clean coal" technology, which is able to separate the carbon before or after the coal is burnt.

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