The socio-political context for deploying carbon capture and storage in China and the U.S

Elizabeth Wilson, Dongjie Zhang, Li Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Together, the U.S. and China emit roughly 40% of world's greenhouse gas emissions, and these nations have stated their desire to reduce absolute emissions (U.S.) or reduce the carbon intensity of the economy (China). However, both countries are dependent on coal for a large portion of their energy needs, which is projected to continue over the next several decades. They also have large amounts of coal resources, coal-dependent electricity production, and in China's case, extensive use of coal in the industrial sector, making any shift from coal socio-politically difficult. Both nations could use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to simultaneously decrease greenhouse gas emissions and continue the use of domestic coal resources; however, the socio-political context for CCS deployment differs substantially between the two countries and potentially makes large-scale CCS deployment challenging. Here, we examine and compare the political and institutional contexts shaping CCS policy and CCS deployment, both for initial pilot projects and for the creation of large-scale CCS technology deployment, and analyze how the socio-political context for CCS in China and the United States aligns with national climate, energy security, and economic priorities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-335
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Carbon capture and storage
  • China
  • Sequestration
  • Technology innovation
  • United States

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