Regulating the geological sequestration of CO2

Elizabeth J. Wilson, M. Granger Morgan, Jay Apt, Mark Bonner, Christopher Bunting, Jenny Gode, R. Stuart Haszeldine, Carlo C. Jaeger, David W. Keith, Sean T. McCoy, Melisa F. Pollak, David M. Reiner, Edward S. Rubin, Asbjørn Torvanger, Christina Ulardic, Shalini P. Vajjhala, David G. Victor, Iain W. Wright

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    32 Scopus citations


    Governments worldwide should provide incentives for initial large-scale GS projects to help build the knowledge base for a mature, internationally harmonized GS regulatory framework. Health, safety, and environmental risks of these early projects can be managed through modifications of existing regulations in the EU, Australia, Canada, and the U.S. An institutional mechanism, such as the proposed Federal Carbon Sequestration Commission in the U.S., should gather data from these early projects and combine them with factors such as GS industrial organization and climate regime requirements to create an efficient and adaptive regulatory framework suited to large-scale deployment. Mechanisms to structure long-term liability and fund long-term postclosure care must be developed, most likely at the national level, to equitably balance the risks and benefits of this important climate change mitigation technology. We need to do this right. During the initial field experiences, a single major accident, resulting from inadequate regulatory oversight, anywhere in the world, could seriously endanger the future viability of GS. That, in turn, could make it next to impossible to achieve the needed dramatic global reductions in CO2 emissions over the next several decades. We also need to do it quickly. Emissions are going up, the climate is changing, and impacts are growing. The need for safe and effective CO2 capture with deep GS is urgent.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2718-2722
    Number of pages5
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
    Issue number8
    StatePublished - Apr 15 2008


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