Norway scraps experiment to dump CO2 at sea
OSLO - Norway bowed to protests by environmentalists yesterday and denied permission for a controversial experiment to dump tonnes of liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) into the ocean off its shores.
Carbon dioxide, produced by burning fossil fuels, is one of the gases that causes global warming. Researchers believe dumping it in liquid form deep in the ocean will help reduce the carbon dioxide buildup in the atmosphere.
Environmentalists fear high concentrations of carbon dioxide would harm marine life. Norway said it had studied the environmental and legal implications of an application by a consortium of research institutions to dump 5.4 tonnes of CO2 in the ocean.
\"The possible future use of the sea as storage for CO2 is controversial,\" Environment Minister Boerge Brende said in a statement.
\"Such a deposit could be in defiance of international marine laws and the ministry therefore had to reject the application,\" he said.
The ministry said the plan required more international debate.
The project is funded by research institutions from Norway, the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan, and was scheduled to start this summer.
Environmental group Greenpeace led the campaign against the experiment, saying it violated international conventions on dumping industrial waste at sea.
\"The decision was in line with expectations, but is an important victory for common sense,\" Greenpeace campaigner Truls Gulowsen said in a statement.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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