UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey believes that international collaboration is vital to Britain fulfilling its potential in developing carbon capture and storage technology.

He said yesterday: “There is a global element to CCS. We need to seek international collaboration. We need a positive, outward-looking vision on CCS globally.”

And he added that he believed the US could be one of the first out of the blocks with CCS breakthroughs, following President Obama’s comments on energy in his State of the Union address this week.

As well as backing further developments in oil and gas – which have both boomed since he first came to office – Obama called for greater investment in low carbon and renewable technologies.

Davey said the president’s comments were “extremely welcome” and added that “part of his play will be with CCS”.

“If we see the US going hard on CSS, Europe needs to be part of that movement,” he told members of the House of Common’s Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and Energy Committee.

Davey added that he hoped the UK would be ready for a commercial roll-out of CCS technology in the 2020s.