This paper provides details of the context and background to UK policies for CCS, and critically examines the national strategy and detailed initiatives to date. Interviews with key players inform the analysis. Climate and energy security goals are first set out, and arguments about the place of coal within them discussed. Then the paper turns to the evolution of the debate about CCS in UK policy circles, and rationales for public support. Lastly the paper analyses some of the political, economic and technical issues that have emerged as CCS became more prominent in UK energy strategies.