China and the United Kingdom have executed an agreement to launch an initiative which will bring together leading researchers in the field of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technologies from both countries.

A group of leading CCUS research bodies from the UK and China, including the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre and Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage in Britain, and the Guangdong Low-Carbon Technology and Industry Research Centre and the Clean-Fossil Energy Development Institute (CFEDI) in China’s Guangdong province, met in London’s Lancaster House last week to sign a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for fostering increased cooperation between both sides.

Signatories to the agreement hope it will lead to the formation of a global CCUS network, which will in turn facilitate collaborative research and development and the sharing of information between local and regional governments.

The agreement focuses in particular on the CCUS industry of Guangdong province – China’s largest regional administrative unit in terms of GDP, with signatories agreeing to provide advice and support to the Guangdong International CCUS Industry and Academic Collaboration Promotion Network.

Zhu Xiaodan, the governor of Guangdong province, and Greg Barker, minister of the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), also concurrently signed a statement committing to cooperation between the two countries on low carbon development, including research and development of CCUS technologies.

The execution of the MoU follows more than five years of cooperation in the field of CCUS development between Guangdong and the UK, backed by Research Councils UK, DECC, and the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

CFEDI board chair Michael Lam hailed the potential for collaboration between China and the UK in the field of carbon capture technology to have a positive impact on global industry.

“I hope that with the support of Guangdong Province and our partners here in the UK, CFEDI can  make a major difference in promoting clean and low carbon energy in China and the rest of the world,” he said in an official statement.

The development of CCUS technology has the potential to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the efficiency of fossil fuel usage, thus reducing its environmental impact. Carbon dioxide generated by both industrial sites and power plants can be captured via technological means, and subsequently stored underground in stable geological materials or directed towards enhanced oil recovery.