This undated handout image shows the carbon sequesterization unit at American Electric Power Company's Mountaineer Plant near New Haven, West Virginia. A looming government clampdown on CO2 emissions is about to confront an already embattled U.S. coal power industry with two stark options: capture carbon or die. Legislation from Congress or tough new regulatory demands could make it costly to spew greenhouse gases, posing a serious threat to the nation's coal-fired power plants. (Credits: REUTERS/Tom Dubanowich/Handout)
New York, United States: The United States on Thursday unveiled a $3.5-billion plan for projects to capture carbon dioxide directly from the air, a recent technology seen as a possible solution to climate change.
The money will fund four major umbrella programs that include a variety of projects to capture CO2 from the air and factories and then store it, the Department of Energy said in a statement.
In its latest baseline report, the United Nations said the world will need to capture and store CO2 from the air and oceans regardless of the rate at which countries succeed at reducing their greenhouse gas emissions
Long seen as a marginal effort or an industrial ploy to avoid reducing carbon emissions, carbon dioxide removal measures are now a necessity, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Airborne CO2 capture and storage is the latest such method and is attracting interest, though its potential for large-scale projects remains to be proven.
The four main projects the US Department of Energy plans to fund will be able to capture and store at least one million tons of CO2 per year.
The government had already announced in early May it intended to fund $2.25 billion worth of CO2 storage projects, an amount also included in the infrastructure
US oil giants ExxonMobil
and Chevron, which have been urged to do more to combat climate change, are also focusing on CO2 capture and storage technology to reduce their environmental impact.
© Agence France-Presse