A new research project into the role of the North Sea in carbon capture and storage has been launched by the government.
The study, which will be undertaken jointly with Norway, will look into whether the sea bed can provide opportunities to bury carbon dioxide from European countries.
It will examine how long it will take for the North Sea to become a viable location for carbon capture and storage, a process through which carbon is captured and buried underground to prevent it reaching the atmosphere.
Energy minister Lord Hunt said: "Today's agreement reaffirms the UK's leadership in tackling the emissions from fossil fuel power generation. Carbon capture and storage has the potential to reduce emissions from coal-fired power stations by around 90 per cent.
"The strength of the UK's offshore industries means we are well-placed to store that carbon dioxide under the North Sea ? This study will help assist the governments in Europe to work together."
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