4 Policy, legal, and regulatory developments

KEY MESSAGES

  • International and domestic climate change mitigation commitments signal the need to decarbonise energy-related emissions, and any delays will continue to undermine private sector investment in CCS activities and further stifle technology development.
  • Inclusion of CCS in the CDM and full ratification of the amendments to the OSPAR Convention were significant developments in the international legal and regulatory architecture for CCS, but challenges remain in the adoption of amendments to the London Protocol to allow for the export of CO2 streams for the purpose of storage in sub-seabed geological formations.
  • Only modest CCS-specific policy developments have occurred in the past 12 months, however there has been a rebalancing of climate policy settings for carbon pricing more generally, and enhanced support for all low-carbon technologies within the UK specifically.
  • The level of funding for CCS demonstration projects, while still considerable, is increasingly vulnerable and it is clear that the level of funding support still available will service fewer projects than was perhaps initially expected.
  • The overall perception of CCS project participants is that the current mix of policy settings and prevailing regulatory environments are somewhat supportive of positive investment decisions in CCS demonstration projects, but policy settings over the medium to longer term are seen to be largely inadequate to ensure future project viability.

Policy, legal, and regulatory developments are key factors determining whether CCS will progress as an important GHG mitigation technique. There is a wide range of policy, legislation, and regulation that is relevant to CCS, from international climate change agreements, through national climate and energy policy, to project-specific legislation and regulation. Developments over the past year in this range of instruments and mechanisms are reviewed in this chapter. Some observations are also made on the challenges for policymakers and regulators, both from a global perspective and from the point of view of project proponents.