Earlier this month, the International Energy Agency released the Carbon Capture and Storage Model Regulatory Framework. Reed Smith environmental attorneys Dave Wagner, Jennifer Smokelin, Steve Nolan and Ariel Nieland were core contributors to the development and drafting of the Model Regulatory Framework. The Model Framework aims to assist national and regional development of regulatory frameworks for carbon capture and storage (CCS) by harnessing the regulatory work of early-movers such as Australia, Europe and the United States. Building on the progress to date, the Model Framework proposes key principles for addressing a broad range of regulatory issues associated with capturing, transporting and storing carbon dioxide.

Significant analysis by the International Energy Agency indicates that CCS will play a vital role in worldwide, least-cost efforts to limit global warming, contributing around one-fifth of required emissions reductions in 2050. For CCS to reach this potential, rapid deployment of CCS technology is necessary. The International Energy Agency estimates that about 100 CCS projects must be implemented by 2020 and over 3,000 by 2050. Such rapid deployment raises many regulatory issues that must be considered before this scale of deployment can occur.  

Altogether, 29 critical regulatory issues for CCS are addressed in the Model Framework, which provides an explanation of each issue and examples of how the issue has been addressed in existing legislation. The Model Framework also provides model legislative text for countries to consult in developing their own national carbon capture and storage regulatory framework. It is also structured to provide guidance to authorities around the world, operating in diverse legal and regulatory environments and with varying levels of existing legislation. Obviously, if you have an interest or want further information, you can contact us for some "inside" perspective.