UAE to host convention aimed at helping combat climate change

A conference on carbon capture technology will begin this week in the capital.

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ABU DHABI //A high-profile workshop aimed at attracting United Nations finance for carbon capture and storage projects will be held in the city from Wednesday.

The two-day event is organised by the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - the first global treaty to prevent the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from hitting catastrophic peaks.

Financed by Norway and the UAE, the workshop will feature delegates from 64 countries, who will review a set of procedures on how to make carbon capture and storage eligible for funding under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Carbon capture and storage is a new technology that involves injecting greenhouse gases into geological formations. This prevents them entering the atmosphere and contributing to global warming.

The UAE and other countries with rich oil and coal resources support the technology.

"The UAE recognizes the important role carbon capture and storage can play in a fossil fuel-producing country like ours as we transition to a cleaner and more sustainable economy," said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE special envoy for energy and climate change and chief executive of Masdar.

The CDM is an initiative in which rich, industrialised countries are channelling money into projects in developing countries in the fight against climate change.

Most of the funding goes to retrofit projects to increase the efficiency of large industrial facilities, initiatives to build clean energy capacity or to stop methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas, escaping from landfills.

The workshop will make recommendations on how to complement existing CDM rules to incorporate the new technology.

While including carbon capture and storage in CDM was supported by the UAE and other oil-rich countries, the move is criticised by some environmental groups.

They say funding for the technology would increase the use of fossil fuels rather than decrease it.