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UCL Centre for Law and Environment


UCL Laws


New CCS Legal Liability Report

By Richard B Macrory, on 29 October 2014

COVERThe Global Carbon Capture Institute and the UCL Carbon Capture Legal Programme have published a new report examining legal liability issues connected with carbon capture and storage.

Legal Liability and Carbon Capture and Storage authored by Ian havercroft (GCCSI) and Professor Richard Macrory (UCL) argues that legal liability issues remain critically important for the commercial development of carbon capture and storage. A well-characterised legal and regulatory regime should perform a number of functions – it can clarify operators’ potential liabilities, promote high standards, and help to encourage investment; and can raise public confidence in the technology.

The report focuses on three jurisdictions with a well developed legal regime and governments broadly supportive of CCS (Alberta, Canada; Victoria, Australia, and the United Kingdom within the European Union), and explores the legal principles and issues relevant to civil (tort) liability, liability under emissions trading regimes, and administrative liability. and liability for emissions trading.

The report notes that each regime contains provisions concerning the transfer of liabilities to the state following cessation of storage activities, but The three regimes offer quite contrasting approaches when considering the criteria necessary for effecting a transfer; including the necessary time-limits post-cessation of operations before a transfer may take place, and the actual responsibilities and liabilities that may be transferred.



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