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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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§ 3 Offshore Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Projects under Marine Environmental Protection Law

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45 § 3 Offshore Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Projects under Marine Environmental Protection Law The capture and storage of carbon dioxide has the potential to contribute to the reduction of the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. However, when carbon dioxide is stored in sub-seabed geological formations, it also has the potential to harm the marine environment. Therefore, the compatibility of offshore CCS projects in European waters with applicable maritime protection regimes is far from clear. In order to clarify this issue, it is necessary to analyse global and regional treaties concerned with the protection of the marine environment of European waters. After a short description of the different offshore CCS procedures (A.) and the historical development of the international marine environmental protection regime (B.), this analysis examines the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea141, which sets out general principles and rules of global application (C.). Hereafter, the regulatory regime that concretises and implements the general rules of the UNCLOS will be examined. It includes, at the global level, the London Dumping Convention142 and its Protocol143 (D.), as well as the MARPOL 73/78 Convention144 (E.), and at the European regional level, the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North- East Atlantic145 (F.), the Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine 141 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, opened for signature 10 December 1982, 21 ILM 1245 (1982) (entered into force 16 November 1994), hereafter UNCLOS. 142 Convention on the Prevention...

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