The ACCSEPT project, which ran from January 2006 to December 2007, identified and analysed the main factors which have been influencing the emergence of CO2 capture and geological storage (CCS) within the European Union (EU). The key clusters of factors concern science and technology, law and regulation, economics, and social acceptance. These factors have been analysed through interviews, a large-scale questionnaire conducted in 2006, and discussions in two stakeholder workshops (2006 and 2007). In Part I of this paper, we aim to distil the key messages and findings with regards to scientific, technical, legal and economic issues. There are no compelling scientific, technical, legal, or economic reasons why CCS could not be widely deployed in the forthcoming decades as part of a package of climate change mitigation options. In order to facilitate this deployment, governments at both the EU and Member State levels have an important role to play, in particular in establishing a robust and transparent legal framework (e.g. governing long-term environmental liability) and a strong policy framework providing sufficient and long-term incentives for CCS and CO2 transportation networks.