Norwegian environment and development minister urges government stimulus for market in CCS development

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“The technologies we need do not come without governments taking responsibility through subsides and other ways to stimulate the markets,” said Solheim, and declared that he is a ‘technology optimist,’ in what became the watch-phrase of the CC8’s opening day.

“But innovation does not happen in state structures. The combination of official framework and the market’s enormous capacity is to create solutions,” he said.

Carbon capture and storage
Solheim also pointed to Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a way that Norway can join to the battle against the global warming.

“There are a lot of sceptics of Carbon Capture and Storage, but the only way we can overcome this is to prove that it works — that it is safely and cheaply,” Solheim said.

Carbon Capture and Storage technology can be developed in Norway on Norway’s nickel, and then be exported to other countries.

“We should transfer the technology from the rich part of the world to the poor, and cooperation between politicians, business and civil society — the CC8 conference arranged by Bellona, Hafslund and the Club de Madrid is a good example of this,” Solheim said.

Not enough
After many politicians had said their piece, it was Joan McNaughton from the Alstom company who held a presentation on behalf of business.

Together with Bellona, the organisation Climate Change Capital, Shell, and the energy company EG3, Alstom has established a CCS leadership coalition to inspire momentum in the EU’s work with Carbon Capture and Storage.

“CCS is an important bridge to renewable energy technologies,” said McNaughton, who, despite the EU’s ambitious plans, thinks that the process is moving too slowly.

“If the decisions are not made by 2015, you cannot expect the installations ready-built with trained employees ready to service them by 2020.” She said the politicians should take responsibility.