The newspaper added that other companies such as ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil, Powerfuel and investment bank Climate Change Capital are also likely to join the protest.

Although the government is keen on encouraging carbon capture technology as part of its effort to mitigate the effects of global warning, chancellor Alistair Darling has announced that the government would promote only the post-combustion technology and not the pre-combustion technology.

The Telegraph quoted a source at one of the companies as saying: This is using taxpayers’ money to fund something which is not the cheapest or most effective form of technology. The government has effectively ejected a range of companies out of the competition before it even starts.

We were led to believe that the government would support both technologies. What is of particular concern is that Alistair Darling made the decision without any consultation with industry whatsoever.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Department for Business maintained that the post-combustion technology was selected only to avoid duplication of pre-combustion methods that were already used by other countries across the world.