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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 December 2005, 04:36 GMT
Scientist hopes for CO2 storage
Sir David King

Mankind's only hope of staving off catastrophic climate change is burying CO2 emissions underground, says the UK's chief scientist.

Sir David King told the BBC carbon capture and storage technology was the only way forward as China and India would inevitably burn their cheap coal.

This would be disastrous unless they were persuaded to put CO2 from power stations into porous rocks, he said.

It is thought carbon capture and storage would add 10-15% to fuel bills.

The process is currently being developed by an international consortium of energy firms.

It involves removing carbon dioxide from emissions by one of three scientific methods.

The carbon dioxide is then pumped at pressure into porous rocks, where it is expected to stay for 1,000 years or more.

By then it is anticipated that carbon-free energy sources will have been developed.

Professor King has often spoken of his deep concerns about climate change and has warned of a catastrophe if we keep emitting carbon at current levels.

By 2030, China's CO2 emissions from coal use alone are expected to have doubled.

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