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Reiten: Hydro will contribute to climate challenge solution

November 7, 2006, 13:00 CET

"If we are going to help solve the global climate problems, it is important that we steer the development of technology on to the right track, and find solutions that the rest of the world can also afford," emphasized Hydro CEO Eivind Reiten at the company's annual energy seminar in Bergen on Tuesday.

"This will have a much greater effect on the global climate challenge than if one plant in Norway commences CO2 capture by a certain date," he added.

Reiten pointed out that if one is going to supply the world with energy in an environmentally friendly way, technology will have to be developed that makes the recovery of energy from fossile sources environmentally acceptable.

"It is crucial that technology is developed to capture, purify and store CO2, and that such technology is not so costly that only the richest countries can afford to use it. Carbon capture and storage can make a substantial global contribution, estimated as capable of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 20-28 percent, according to the The International Energy Authority (IEA). Norway is particulalry well positioned to make a contribution here and hardly anyone has done more work on CO2 technology than Hydro."

"We need to aim higher"

Reiten stated that environmental challenges had to be seen from a global perspective.

"The world is facing a climate challenge, and the experts' verdict is clear: We must act now. Hydro acknowledges the link between increased CO2 emissions and global warming. But we aslo look upon the environment as an important governing condition – not an obstacle, but an opportunity."

He stressed that the future belongs to those who are able to develop tomorrow's solutions that produce energy with less impact on the environment and climate.

"Both researchers and markets will press for energy to be obtained from new and more environmentally friendly sources. But in the transition to new technology we still need to meet the demand for fossile-based energy – and we must do this in ways that reduce CO2 emissions. There is therefore the need for continual technology development."