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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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§ 4 The Integration of Carbon Capture and Storage into the Climate Protection Regime

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183 § 4 The Integration of Carbon Capture and Storage into the Climate Protection Regime612 The injection and storage of carbon dioxide in sub-seabed geological formations is predominantly a climate change mitigation measure that takes place in the marine environment. It has the potential to contribute to the fulfilment of the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change613 to achieve stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.614 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated in its fourth report that this objective can be achieved if the global temperature does not rise more than 2°C. This aim can only be reached when developed and developing countries work together, and when different climate change mitigation measures are jointly used. Some country representatives and international policymakers see carbon capture and storage (CCS)615 as one of these measures.616 In order to realise CCS projects on a large scale, they need to become economically feasible. As set out in § 2 of this dissertation, CCS projects are expensive and require economic incentives to be commercially deployed.617 An important incentive would be their integration into the international climate protection regime, in particular, into the Clean Development Mechanism and the Emissions Trading Scheme laid down in Articles 12 and 17 Kyoto Protocol to 612 This Chapter was written before the COP/MOP adopted the Decision 10/CMP.7, in: Report of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of...

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