Scientists and engineers in several emerging economies including India are pooling their expertise to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) that are steadily boosting world temperatures.
A capacity-building task force of a US based international climate change initiative with India and 21 other member countries called Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), is helping several developing countries acquire the knowledge, skills and institutions they need to understand and implement carbon dioxide capture and storage.
This technology encompasses capturing CO2 from power plants and fuel-processing facilities, then transporting it and injecting it for long-term storage into nearby geologic formations of gravel or porous rock, or into old oil or gas fields, according to USINFO, a US State Department service.
Established in the US in 2003, CSLF members are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, the European Commission, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The CSLF held its first capacity-building workshop for emerging-economy members in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in May as a growing number of experts consider CO2 capture and storage one of the best ways to help mitigate climate change.
There, 55 delegates from six countries - Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Mexico and South Africa - and a participant from Saudi Arabia attended a three-day workshop hosted by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and its Pittsburgh-based National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).
In October, some of the Brazilian delegates will host their own two-day capacity-building workshop and a daylong international seminar on CO2 capture and storage in Porto Alegre, one of Brazil's largest cities and the capital of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.
"This is a manifestation of the concept of the CSLF task force," Justin 'Judd' Swift, deputy assistant secretary for international affairs in DOE's Office of Fossil Energy and chairman of the CSLF capacity-building task force, told USINFO.
Task force members envisioned that the first workshop in Pittsburgh would lead to other international workshops, he said, adding that individual countries like Brazil would initiate their own efforts. "We're actively involved in helping them in any way we can."
Marcelo Ketzer, associate professor of geology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, said that the Pittsburgh event was extremely important "not only to capacitate people, but also to speed up many actions regarding carbon capture and storage in Brazil".
Saudi Arabia will host the next capacity-building workshop in 2008.
The Pontifical Catholic University and Petróleo Brasileiro (PETROBRAS), a semi-public oil company based in Rio de Janeiro that is leading CO2 capture and storage in Brazil, have joined forces to create the Energy and Carbon Storage Research Centre in Porto Alegre.
"The energy grid in Brazil for electric energy generation is quite clean," Ketzer said. "It's not based on coal-fired power plants, it's based on hydropower. But that doesn't mean we don't have emissions. We are big emitters. That's why we are taking action to diminish CO2 emissions to the atmosphere."