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A special workshop examining the future for clean coal technology, which aims to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide...
A special workshop examining the future for clean coal technology, which aims to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases which cause pollution, was hosted by the DTI minister with responsibility for the environment, Richard Page.

The workshop - the first of its kind to be organised by the Confederation of UK Coal Producers - was held in response to forecasts suggesting that world coal use will rise substantially over the next few years.

'Concern for the environment will be a significant influence in the coming years particularly with respect to climate change,' said Mr Page.

'With the world-wide demand for coal set to increase sharply, finding ways to use it more efficiently will obviously be a vital part of any policy to limit climate change.

'In addition, there is no doubt we live in an increasingly competitive world. Markets are becoming increasingly global.

'For example, a number of clean coal technologies currently at the demonstration stage overseas could well have applications in this country over the next 5-10 years.

'If we are to be able to look forward to a rising standard of living in the years ahead we must be constantly striving to be at the leading edge, not just an 'also ran'.

'Environmental concerns are often seen as being in direct conflict with the interests of business.

'The challenge now facing the coal industry is to reconcile these concerns so that it not only becomes greener but also more successful in marketing clean coal technology to our trading partners in the rest of the world.

'My department's£30m investment in clean coal technology research over the past four years, despite all the pressures on public expenditure, demonstrates the importance the government attaches to this issue.'

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