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Sub-Seabed Carbon Sequestration: Building the Legal Platform

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Under the threat of the disruptions of climate change, there is growing interest in clean coal technology in the UK. This paper reviews the technologies underpinning the capture, transportation and storage of CO2. In the case of the UK, the storage of CO2 is planned in the sub seabed of the North Sea Continental Shelf. This being so, the paper goes on to analyse the rapid changes made at International, EU and UK level to shape a legal framework, the contours of which, if not the precise topography, is now visibly recognisable. It explores the linkages between regimes on climate change and marine protection and it concludes that the viability of the technology may ultimately be dependent on one element of that regulatory structure, namely the EU Emissions Trading Scheme since, ultimately, the price of carbon will determine levels of investment in the technology.

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  2. Hoegh-Guldberg et al. (2007).

  3. Ibid.

  4. Rayfuse (2008) and Peterson (1995).

  5. Bill, Clause 77(1)(d).

  6. Defra Consultation (2009).

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  21. On 1 December 1998.

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  23. This interpretation point has been specifically endorsed by the OSPAR Commission (2004).

  24. OSPAR Commission (2004).

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  26. Directive 2009/31/EC on the geological storage of carbon dioxide.

  27. Directive 96/61/EC concerning Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC).

  28. Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the environmental impact of certain projects (EIA).

  29. Directive 2004/35/EC on Environmental Liability.

  30. IPCC (2005).

  31. For discussion as to liability and liability regimes see Lo Baugh and Troutman (2009), Klass and Wilson (2008) and Moore (2007).

  32. The USA Energy Plan is also seeking to build five public/private partnership CCS facilities—see Lo Baugh and Troutman (2009).

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  38. Anderson (2009), Nettles and Conner (2008), Campbell et al. (2008) and Wilson and de Figueiredo (2006).

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Correspondence to Robert G. Lee.

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Lee, R.G. Sub-Seabed Carbon Sequestration: Building the Legal Platform. Liverpool Law Rev 30, 131–146 (2009).

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