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Offshore Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage

An International Environmental Law Perspective

Friederike Marie Lehmann

The technology of offshore carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) is likely to be deployed on a commercial scale soon. CCS technology could be used to limit global temperature rise to less than 2°C above the pre-industrial level. However, such projects entail many environmental risks, and their effectiveness for the mitigation of climate change is disputed. This book tries to clarify open legal questions regarding European offshore CCS projects in the context of international and regional maritime and climate protection law as well as relevant European legislation. Taking the remaining scientific uncertainty into account, this book concludes that the permission and encouragement of offshore CCS projects is highly problematic from an international environmental law perspective.


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§ 2 Science and Economic Aspects of CCS Projects


17 § 2 Science and Economic Aspects of CCS Projects In international environmental law, the science background is often imperative. Particularly in the process of juridification, it is essential to look at the science and economic background in order to determine what kind of legislation is needed. The recognition of the dangers, risks and uncertainties occurring in the context of offshore CCS projects is necessary in order to enable the identification of concrete legal regulations vital for the protection of the global and local environment and for the economic facilitation of such projects. A special focus shall be on environmental impacts of offshore CCS projects. In this spirit, this chapter40 gives an overview of the state of the art from different capturing processes (A.) and transport modalities (B.). It describes their contribution to climate change mitigation, as well as their environmental impacts and costs. Following that, this chapter deals with the injection and storage of CO2 in sub- seabed geological formations (C.). The latter describes different storage options and points out risks related to the storage of CO2 in geological formations underneath the seabed and determines aspects that should be taken into account, in order to ensure the security and environmental integrity of the storage of CO2 in geological formations under the seabed. Moreover, by summarising the potential costs of the storage and CCS projects in general. It demonstrates that it is necessary to create economic incentives if CCS projects are to be deployed on a large scale. A. Capture of...

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