The EU is targeting a 50% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050. As part of efforts to achieve this goal, the European Commission launched on 17 September a tool supporting early large-scale demonstration of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) technologies. Hailed as the first-ever network of its kind, the CCS Network Project encompasses demonstration projects that will fuel knowledge and understanding of how CCS can contribute to CO2 emissions reduction. This latest venture will not only accelerate learning, but it will help CCS to realise its green objectives and bring this innovative technology to market. 'CCS is one of the key technologies that we need to develop today to make the necessary deep cuts in CO2 emissions from the energy sector in the coming decades,' said Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger. 'It is a very positive step forward for the major project developers in Europe to work together and to inform scientists, industry and the public about their progress. Knowledge sharing will be essential for accelerating the deployment of clean energy technologies in Europe and worldwide.' Parties that had expressed an interest in joining this network have already signed a joint agreement to share knowledge. They are all CCS projects supported by the European Commission's European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR), which provides incentives for projects in three energy sectors: CCS (EUR 1.05 billion in funding), wind energy (EUR 565 million), and gas and electricity interconnectors (EUR 2.365 billion). The EEPR seeks greenhouse gas emissions reduction, energy security, and economic recovery. In order to receive EU support, the CCS projects are required to disseminate their results as widely as possible. The objective is to establish a leading community of projects which jointly target commercially viable CCS within the next 10 years. An advisory forum has been set up to review the CCS Network Project's progress, and to identify the knowledge that can be generated by the scheme. Ultimately, the wider energy community will benefit immensely from the network's activities. The maiden meeting of the forum, held on 17 April, was co-chaired by the European Commission and the European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants (ZEP). EU Member States representatives, as well as officials from ZEP, CCS demonstration projects, researchers, and people from international and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) attended the meeting. Work on the CCS demonstration projects got off the ground in 2007 after the European Council approved the European Commission's plan to accelerate the development and operation of up to 12 such projects by 2015. The upshot of these actions will be to make viable a full CCS chain in power generation and other industries, as well as to slash the cost of CCS-generated power between now and 2020. The EU has been supporting research and development (R&D) in CCS for over a decade. EU GEOCAPACITY ('Assessing European capacity for geological storage of carbon dioxide'), for instance, received EUR 1.9 million under the 'Sustainable development, global change and ecosystems') Thematic area of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The project found that the conservative storage capacity estimate of 117 Gt (gigatonne) CO2 for Europe corresponds to 62 years of storage of the 1.9 million metric tonnes annual emissions from large point sources emitting more than 1 million metric tonne each year. The EU has approved a more than two-fold increase in funding for CCS projects under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The goal is to ensure improvements to CCS components required for the technology's commercial viability.