Capturing and storing the carbon dioxide generated by power plants and factories could play an important role in limiting global warming caused by humans, says an international climate research group associated with the United Nations.
In a new report the group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says doing so could cut the cost of stabilizing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere as much as 30 percent compared with other options, like switching to cleaner technologies.
Altogether, sequestering carbon dioxide could eventually account for slightly more than half of what is needed to prevent dangerous concentrations in the atmosphere, says the report, which was released on Monday and is online at www.ipcc.ch.
But the report cautions that while the method is cheaper than others, it would significantly raise the cost of electricity for many years. For that reason, several authors and United Nations officials said, it is unlikely that the technique will be adopted voluntarily by industries in wealthy countries.
So they will capture it, pipe it somewhere, and store it in big tanks and wells forever?