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 11: The Politics and Policy of CCS: The Uncertain Road Ahead

James Meadowcroft and Oluf Langhelle

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


James Meadowcroft and Oluf Langhelle This volume has compared the development of CCS as a policy and political issue in a number of developed country jurisdictions. In this chapter we shall explore several themes which have emerged from this analysis and consider the road ahead. The discussion will be organized around three broad topics: CCS as a focus for political argument; environmental risks and long-term stewardship; and CCS and future technological trajectories. 1 CCS AS A FOCUS FOR POLITICAL ARGUMENT As an integrated technological system for reducing GHG emissions, CCS has some way to go before it is ready for commercial deployment, and still further to travel before it can make a large-scale contribution to managing carbon dioxide emissions (IEA 2008). But if CCS is not yet there as a proven and cost-effective technological alternative, the idea of CCS has already had a marked influence on political and policy debate around climate and energy futures. And arguments about the potential of CCS, and the implications of its deployment, are beginning to move from the specialist domains of climate and energy into the broader realm of political and policy debate. As noted at the outset, for a long time CCS largely remained the concern of a small group of technical experts connected with the oil and gas industry, national governments with important fossil fuel interests, and the IEA. During the early 2000s it received increasing attention from the mainstream international climate change community, with the 2005 IPCC Special Report signalling its...

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