Caching the Carbon

Caching the Carbon

The Politics and Policy of Carbon Capture and Storage

Edited by James Meadowcroft and Oluf Langhelle

Over the past decade carbon capture and storage (CCS) has increasingly come to the fore as a possible option to manage carbon dioxide emissions that are currently contributing to human induced climate change. This book is concerned with the politics of CCS. The authors examine the way CCS has been brought into the political realm, the different interpretations of the significance of this emerging technology, and the policy challenges government and international institutions face with respect to its development, deployment and regulation. The book includes case studies of engagement with CCS in a number of developed countries as well as more thematically focused analysis.

Chapter 4: CCS in Canada

Mark Jaccard and Jacqueline Sharp

Subjects: environment, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy


Mark Jaccard and Jacqueline Sharp On the surface, Canada is an obvious candidate for world leadership in the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS). It has an impressive fossil fuel endowment which includes oil, natural gas, coal and oil sands. It has repeatedly made strong national commitments to reduce GHG emissions. It is a rich, technologically advanced country, with access to capital and know-how. Its oil industry already uses carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery and the country’s western region has almost ideal conditions for extensive geological storage of carbon dioxide. Some of its key environmental organizations and activists support CCS as part of a climate strategy that emphasizes efficiency and renewables. And since at least 1999, when Canada first presented its plan to achieve its Kyoto commitment, the country’s political leaders have explicitly and repeatedly presented CCS as a critical component of Canada’s climate strategy. Yet, in spite of these favourable conditions and forceful public pronouncements, CCS in Canada has made negligible progress over the past decade. There have been publicly sponsored studies of the CCS potential and of the policies needed to realize it. There has been publicly funded research into determining the best technological options and locations. There have been studies of public opinion and strategies for increasing public awareness and support. And private corporations are working with government to assess investment opportunities. But, today in Canada, there is still no large-scale CCS project under development. Why is this? Does this indicate that CCS might never...

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