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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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§ 5 Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage in Sub- seabed Geological Formations under European Law

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251 § 5 Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage in Sub-seabed Geological Formations under European Law The international agreements regarding marine environmental protection law and international climate protection law discussed above deal either with the permission of CCS projects in sub-seabed geological formations or with the economic encouragement of such projects. The European legislation covers both of these aspects. The European Union has adopted a new directive with the requirements for the permission and conduct of geological storage of carbon dioxide.863 Furthermore, it has integrated CCS projects into the Emissions Trading Scheme Directive864, thereby providing economic support. In this chapter, the question shall be posed, whether the permission and encouragement of offshore CCS projects pursuant to European legislation is acceptable from an international environmental law perspective. In this respect, the new CCS Directive and the amendments to the ETS Directive shall be analysed and it shall be determined whether such regulations are coherent and compatible with provisions, objectives and guiding principles of the European legislation, as well as with other international agreements by which the European Union is bound.865 To answer these questions, the position of the European Union on CCS projects shall be outlined (A.), its scope of discretion when implementing international rules on CCS projects shall be determined (B.) and the relevant directives regarding the deployment of CCS projects within the European Union shall be discussed (C. and D.). In terms of the CCS Directive, the focus will be on, besides the description of the general functioning of the CCS...

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