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Austria decides to prohibit underground storage of carbon dioxide

(Xinhua)

09:44, August 24, 2011

VIENNA, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Austrian council of ministers Tuesday made a decision to prohibit underground storage of carbon dioxide, but limited study of this topic is allowed.

Austian Minister of Energy Reinhold Mitterlehner said the government had agreed with experts that "this technology is not mature yet."

In particular, he stressed that the technology was still in the research stage and the potential risks and the sustainability of underground stage are not yet sufficiently explored; discussion on the application would begin only when this issues can be resolved.

Besides the prohibition of geological CO2 storage, research projects of the technology are allowed with limited scope if risk to humans and the environment can be included.

CO2 capture and storage is a criticized measure to help solve the problem of climate change. The greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, is eliminated from exhaust gases and pumped into underground storage, where it will not withdraw. This would be possible in some empty cavities, from which natural gas was previously mined.

Currently, Norway, Algeria, Canada, Japan, Australia, the United States and some countries and regions in the European Union have implemented or are working to implement this technology. However, due to the fact of being in the research stage and high costs, most of them are still limited only to research.


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