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UAE-backed proposal to use UN funds for carbon capturing faces a key test

Negotiators debate a proposal to steer UN-administered funding to the development of technology to capture carbon emissions for storage underground.

The UAE's agenda at the global climate-change talks faces a key test this week as negotiators debate a proposal to steer UN-administered funding to the development of technology to capture carbon emissions for storage underground. Analysts say the idea is likely to fail in the face of strong opposition from Brazil and influential experts who say global warming is best fought with more renewable energy.

Gathered in Copenhagen on the second day of a summit conference on climate change, negotiators yesterday were scheduled to debate the proposal to allow project owners in developing countries to sell credits on the open market for every tonne of pollution they keep out of the atmosphere. Even if the proposal fails, it could be resurrected next year, said Hege Fjellheim, a carbon-capture expert and senior analyst at Point Carbon, a consultancy.

"My view is that it will be somehow included, but it will take time," she said. The proposal has been supported by the UAE Government and Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Government's clean technology firm, as a necessary step to improve the economics of carbon capture. The technology is viewed by many experts as key to cutting emissions. Masdar is investing tens of billions of dirhams in a scheme to capture emissions from smokestacks across the emirate and pipe them to oilfields for permanent burial.

cstanton@thenational.ae

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