Regulatory challenges to the implementation of carbon capture and geological storage within the European Union under EU and international law

Carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) is a relatively new technology in the context of climate change mitigation strategies, and its legal and regulatory implications are not yet broadly understood. This paper takes a brief look at international environmental law principles relevant to CCS, identifies key environmental and safety risks associated with the technology, and highlights significant legal frameworks that pose challenges to the implementation of CCS within the EU under EU and international law. It then notes continuing regulatory gaps that will need to be addressed for large-scale CCS to take place. The paper concludes that the clear inclusion or exclusion of CCS activities from the range of relevant legal frameworks will increase transparency, provide regulatory certainty and ultimately facilitate CCS in appropriate contexts.