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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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§ 7 Conclusion

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319 § 7 Conclusion The technology to capture, transport and store carbon dioxide in sub-seabed geological formations is likely to be deployed on a commercial scale soon. Conducting CCS projects in sub-seabed geological formations entails many environmental risks and dangers for marine ecosystems and their effectiveness for the mitigation of climate change is highly disputed. Therefore, it is of great urgency to clarify open legal questions guiding the further development of a framework for the protection of the marine environment and of the effectiveness of the storage of carbon dioxide as a climate change mitigation measure. After the application of the three-step analysis with respect to the subjects of exami- nation, it is highly questionable whether the permission and encouragement of offshore CCS projects is acceptable from an international environmental law perspective. Even if it is permitted by some international and regional environ- mental law agreements, as well as European legislation, and its integration into the climate protection regime seems very likely, it is, at least in the near future, in conflict with a number of the international environmental law principles. In addition, amendments to the marine protection regulations are often in potential conflict with the other provisions, objectives and guiding principles of the same treaty and the integration of CCS projects into the climate protection regime was found to be very problematic. The findings of this doctoral thesis shall be summarised in more detail (A.) and evaluated (B.) in what follows. A. Summary § 2 provided the scientific and economic basis...

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