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Understanding Governance and Regulation of CO2 Storage in Europe

Maver, Marko (2015) Understanding Governance and Regulation of CO2 Storage in Europe. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Climate change, continued economic development, and energy security have become increasingly pressing issues over the past two decades or so. One potential solution to this interrelated problem is the idea to capture the carbon dioxide (CO2) from large stationary emission sources, such as power plants, and permanently store it deep underground. In this way CO2 emissions can be prevented from reaching the atmosphere, whilst allowing for a continued use of fossil fuels, until other alternatives (i.e. wind, solar, biomass) are developed on a wider scale. This process is also referred to as carbon capture and storage (CCS). The literature review in this thesis identifies the need to present a more in-depth picture of the entire process of governance of CO2 storage. The aim of this research is therefore to examine the extent to which the current legal and regulatory frameworks are able to mediate between managing the environmental risks of CO2 storage and the development/deployment of CCS in Europe. The analysis is underlined by the governance network theory (GNT), borrowing also elements from the theory of bounded rationality. Along with an extensive doctrinal legal scholarship, data analysis is also supported by 15 in-depth interviews with key CCS stakeholders in Europe. The results show that there is a wide consensus that the current legal and regulatory frameworks are robust enough, albeit the existence of uncertainty in regards to a number of legal provisions. There is also wide agreement between stakeholders in regards to the ability of operators to manage the environmental risks of CO2 storage. The discussion of these results show the applicability of the GNT as a framework for studying the management of environmental risks of CO2 storage, and the development and deployment of CCS technology in conjunction. Implications drawn from these findings also show that the management of environmental risks of CO2 storage and the future of CCS technology depends heavily on the effective relationship between the government agencies (i.e. competent authority) and project developers. Furthermore, good communication and engagement with other stakeholders, in particular the general public, will also be significant in the future development/deployment of CCS projects in Europe. When these relationships are good, this research argues that efficiency gains of governance are realised.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Law (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.666639
Depositing User: Dr. Marko Maver
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2015 13:15
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 12:19
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10095

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