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Carbon Capture and Storage and the London Protocol

Carbon Capture and Storage and the London Protocol
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Edition: 2011
40 pages

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that 100 Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects will be required by 2020 and over 3 000 by 2050 if CCS is to contribute fully to the least-cost technology portfolio for CO2 mitigation. For CCS to reach its emissions reduction potential, the 2009 IEA publication Technology Roadmap: Carbon Capture and Storage recommends that international legal obstacles associated with global CCS deployment be removed by 2012 – including the prohibition on transboundary CO2 transfer under the London Protocol.

The London Protocol was amended by contracting parties in 2009 to allow for cross-border transportation of CO2 for sub-seabed storage, but the amendment must be ratified by two-thirds of contracting parties to enter into force. It is unlikely that this will occur in the near term; this working paper therefore outlines options that may be available to contracting parties under international law to address the barrier to deployment presented by Article 6, pending formal entry into force of the 2009 amendment.