with the need to carry it out in a cost-effective manner, would have several important near-term implications for the character of efficient policy development. Using the premises that there are sufficient economic fossil fuels to last for the next century and that continued economic development will ensure a continued growth in energy demand, he described existing patterns for world use of low-cost fossil fuel and identified the need for a portfolio of technologies that will change those patterns. He argued that investments to develop those technologies and their associated infrastructure will require funding a full spectrum of R&D, coordinated among many nations and with the participation of both public and private sectors. However, he showed that global energy R&D has declined over the last 15 years. In his view, public policy will play an important role in signaling the need for new technologies and in facilitating their development and deployment.
David Thomas of BP Amoco discussed various options for CO2 mitigation and presented the approach that BP has taken (see Chapter 2). He presented examples of methods for reducing energy consumption from various manufacturing processes practiced by BP and described possible separation technologies for the CO2 that is emitted. Separation of CO2 could occur early, in capture from natural gas, or much later, from combustion processes. He also described options for storing CO2 safely, particularly in geological formations. Thomas reiterated Edmonds's point that mitigation techniques must be cost-effective if they are to be widely adopted.
Brian Flannery of ExxonMobil (see Chapter 3) pointed out that concerns about anthropogenic emissions of CO2 and their possible effect on climate change have led to policy proposals that would dramatically restrict future emissions. He revisited some of the issues discussed by Edmonds and provided a historical perspective on energy use, energy decarbonization and energy efficiency. His talk emphasized the magnitude of the problem and time scale for penetration of new technologies. He presented several scenarios that could lead to CO2 stabilization at various levels over the next century, noting that the associated social, environmental, and economic costs would be sensitive to the availability and performance of new technologies. He emphasized that effective implementation of any new energy technology would require extensive infrastructure development, and that any policy requiring stabilization of atmospheric CO2 concentrations would depend on development and widespread global implementation of technologies that are not commercially available today. He identified a twofold chemical R&D focus that would enhance our ability to assess the extent and consequence of climate change and would contribute to the development of appropriate advanced technologies.
Opportunities for carbon emissions control in the electric power industry were addressed by John Stringer of the Electric Power Research Institute (see Chapter 4). He emphasized that the problem is very large, that the dominant worldwide generation fleet will increasingly consist of fossil fuel-fired thermal stations, and that no clearly superior methods for carbon management currently exist. On that basis, he concluded that research on multiple candidates—including combustion systems, nuclear energy, and renewable energy—will be critically important. He highlighted the importance of having a long-range roadmap for planning the supply of electricity for the next 50 years, since most of the world's current generating capacity would be replaced during that period. He described options for reducing CO2 emissions associated with power generation and discussed the issues associated with the principal fuels: petroleum, natural gas, and coal. He summarized opportunities for CO2 capture, particularly for coal-fired plants and identified the issues associated with alternative sequestration strategies. Finally, he reiterated Edmonds's point that a commitment to emissions mitigation should not be made too soon, lest the approach prove unsuitable or unachievable at a reasonable cost.
In the panel discussion following the first session, an effort was made to focus on identifying a research agenda in chemical sciences and engineering that would be aimed at reduction of CO2 emissions. Nevertheless, the majority of the discussion concerned the economics of carbon mitigation, and