China must be commended for its impressive approach to tackling the climate change challenge, including through large–scale investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, according to Global CCS Institute Chairman Professor Paul Dougas.

Speaking at the opening of the institute’s new office in Beijing last month, Professor Dougas acknowledged the Chinese Government for embedding climate change policy in its industrial and economic development agenda.

“There is a limited period in which the world can deal with the climate change challenge, which threatens our economic, social and environmental wellbeing,” Professor Dougas said. “I applaud China’s approach to dealing with this incredibly difficult problem through a range of ambitious policies and actions, emissions reduction targets, and inclusion of CCS in the 12th Five–Year Plan.”

The institute’s CEO, Brad Page, said the decision to open an office in China reflected the important role the country was increasingly playing in combatting dangerous climate change through CCS technology.

“China has emerged as the recent fast mover in CCS,” Mr Page said. “Indeed, it is establishing itself as a leader in CCS, accounting for more than half of all newly identified large–scale integrated projects [LSIPs] around the world in 2012.”

“China now has 11 LSIPs in various stages of planning, as well as more pilot projects than in any other country. And, demonstrating both the technical and commercial viability of CCS, many of these smaller projects are already operating successfully.”

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between China’s Department of Climate Change, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Institute, signed a year ago, has opened the door for greater cooperation and significant progress on CCS. Collaborative projects, for example, have already included a capacity building workshop for stakeholders on storing carbon dioxide (CO2) and enhanced oil recovery, and public awareness activities.

Under an MoU signed at the recent opening ceremony, the institute and Yanchang intend to cooperate on pilot and large–scale CCS demonstration projects in the coal-to-chemicals sector.